In a move which strengthens the UK’s position as a leading global science superpower, Genomics England have committed to developing the world’s largest cancer research platform. By processing large amounts of data, researchers will be able to create improved cancer treatments and provide better patient care.
Health data is often dislocated in the NHS, held within many different systems and formats. Genomics England’s revolutionary plan is to combine all the data at population scale and utilise artificial intelligence to identify new features of cancer.
Genomics England are already making excellent progress in other areas with 16,000 participants already enrolled in the 100,000 Genome Project. This project also collates data – from those suffering from cancer and rare diseases – to better understand the nature of cancer and other diseases.
The new cancer research platform will enable researchers to upload hundreds of thousands of pathology and radiology images while comparing them to existing genomic data via artificial intelligence.
It is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2022 or early 2023, with a paper examining brain cancer marked to be the first project to benefit from the research platform. The paper is expected to be published next spring.
This news is all part of Genomics England’s Cancer 2.0 strategy, which aims to significantly improve the understanding of cancer, cut waiting times for diagnoses, and deliver personalized treatments which lead to better outcomes.
Dr Prabhu Arumugam, Director of Clinical Data and Imaging at Genomics England, said: “The platform will give us the ability to significantly increase our knowledge of cancer which, in turn, will give us greater understanding of an individual’s prognosis and their response to treatment. Looking at the genetic sequence and images of a tumour together at the same time is revolutionary and will point the way forward to the development of more effective precision drugs and therapies.”