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expert reaction to study providing insights for precision cancer care from the 100,000 Genomes Project

A study published in Nature Medicine looks at cancer care insights from the 100,000 Genomes Project.


Professor Trevor Graham, Professor of Genomics and Evolution at The Institute of Cancer Research, said:

“This research shows us, at a tremendous scale, just how important the detection of genetic changes in a cancer is for determining patient outcomes, and for determining which treatments will work for an individual patient.

“Whole genome sequencing can be used as a single test to decide which drugs a cancer patient could benefit from. This would replace a multitude of tests and could be a simpler, faster, and eventually cheaper way to make decisions about treatments. However, we will need to be training staff to ensure there is adequate resource, as genomics and bioinformatics expertise will be essential within hospital teams to carry out and implement the results of these tests.”


Prof Andrew Sharrocks, Professor of Molecular Biology, University of Manchester, said:

“There are interesting aspects of this study. Obviously, whole genome sequencing can be of use for patient management and this study demonstrates that. However, we sort of knew that already. One of the most important aspects is whether treatments are available for whatever genomic change is identified. If there are none available, then having all this information becomes a bit pointless. It might be more beneficial to just assay the things that are known to influence treatment options which would be cheaper (by targeted sequencing for example) and much easier to implement in terms of data analysis etc. The other thing to point out is that although clearly majorly important, DNA-based changes do not explain all the critical events occurring in cancer cells (whether actionable or not), so additional studies at the epigenetic or protein level for example, might be important for enhancing any personalised treatment regimes.”



Insights for precision oncology from the integration of genomic and clinical data of 13,880 tumors from the 100,000 Genomes Cancer Programme’ by Alona Sosinsky et al. was published in Nature Medicine at 00:01 UK Time Thursday 11 January 2024. 


DOI: 10.1038/s41591-023-02682-0



Declared interests

Professor Trevor Graham: “I’m a longstanding member of a Genomics England “GeCIP” (Genomics Clinical Interpretation Partnership). I’ve also received an honorarium from Genentech

For all other experts, no reply to our request for DOIs was received.

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