A new test being trialed on patients within the Royal Marsden Foundation Trust will check for mutations linked to cancer in 97 genes, half of which are not currently tested by the NHS.
Patients will then be given personalised treatment plans based on the results. In time doctors hope the test will become routine so that those at higher risk of cancer can be monitored. The test is being developed by the Institute of Cancer Research and American genetics company Illumina. Professor Rahman, the institute’s head of genetics, said: “It is very important to know if a mutation in a person’s genetic blueprint has caused their cancer. It allows a more personalised treatment … It also improves the information available for relatives about their own cancer risks.”
It is hoped the test will become available to all NHS patients after its trial next year.