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expert reaction to announcement of NHS DNA database

David Cameron announced plans to launch a clinical DNA-reading service, focusing on patients with cancer and rare diseases, as part of efforts to open National Health Service data to medical research.

 

Dr Christine Patch, Consultant Genetic Counsellor, Reader in Clinical Genetics, Guys Hospital, said:

“The promise of investment in DNA sequencing, NHS infrastructure and research and training is to be strongly welcomed and I look forward to hearing more about the details of the proposal, in particular the source of funding for this encouraging initiative.

“Sequencing DNA has the potential to generate much more information about patients and is becoming cheaper and easier. More research is needed to fully understand the findings and their implications. It is important that patients participating in these developments are confident that their personal data and information is protected. Translating the findings into useful information for patients is a challenge that will require close working with the NHS.”

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