Monday 10 December 2012
Professor Alan Ashworth, chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, welcomes the announcement in the Life Sciences Strategy that the Government has earmarked £100m to support introduction of high-tech genome profiling for cancer patients.
Professor Ashworth said: "I congratulate the Prime Minister for recognising just how critical genome profiling will be to the future of cancer treatment, and for finding the money to support it in these financially straitened times.
"Our understanding of the biology of cancer is advancing at an astonishing rate, driven in part by huge steps forward in the technology of DNA sequencing. It is now becoming feasible for the first time to regard genome sequencing not just as a tool to understand the science of cancer, but as an essential element of the personalised treatment of every cancer patient.
"At The Institute of Cancer Research and our partner The Royal Marsden we have pioneered use of genome profiling to assess cancer risk and prognosis, and begin to guide cancer therapy. I hope the Government’s new programme of investment will take genome profiling from the leading edge of cancer research into the mainstream of cancer treatment. It opens up the prospect of a new era of personalised therapy, not only tailored to the individual, but adjusted over the course of their treatment as the genetic profile of their tumour changes.”
Update 4pm: Professor Ashworth spoke about today's news on ITV News.