RCR responds to genomics announcement in Matt Hancock’s Conservative Party Conference speech

Tuesday 2 October 2018

The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) has responded to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s commitment to roll out access to genetic testing, welcoming the focus on genomics but stressing that more data are needed before we see benefits for patients.

RCR Vice-President, Clinical Oncology, Dr Jeanette Dickson said:

“We welcome the Government’s moves to harness the potential of personalised care by sequencing the genome. 

“Genomics is a rapidly developing area of cancer care, and a number of advances are already used in practice, whereas others will need more investment and focus before they can be realised for our patients.

“For example, single gene abnormality testing has already been incorporated by consultant oncologists into everyday clinical practice, here-and-now personalising therapy for lung, breast, colorectal and head and neck cancers. 

“Routine genome sequencing, as promised by the Health Secretary today, will only be useful in determining the best therapeutic fit for individual patients if we see significant investment, right now, in mapping how genetic variation actually impacts on treatment response - currently, that impact data are not collected or acted on and that needs to change.”   

Visit the Department for Health and Social Care's website to find out more about the new NHS Genomic Medicine Service. 

For further information, images and interviews please contact Emma Cooper on 020 7406 5941 or email emma_cooper@rcr.ac.uk Out of office hours please call 07554 998197.