Your DNA your say

Genetic research has the potential to unlock many answers in medical diagnoses and treatment. Whole genome and exome sequencing are available now in the NHS in England and other health care systems around the world. This fast paced new age has given rise to interesting ethical and moral questions that my group explores.

Improving access to genetic testing in epithelial ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is the fifth commonest cause of cancer-related mortality in women, with over 7000 women diagnosed with the disease in the UK each year. A proportion of cases (around 15-20%) are caused by inherited mutations, with mutations in th e BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes being the most common. Knowledge of a woman’s mutation status can inform treatment options as certain classes of drug...

Will 2017 be the year when genomic medicine becomes business as usual?

There was no shortage of excitement (some might call it hype) about genomics and personalised healthcare in 2016, but for the vast majority of patients, the benefits of genomics remained tantalizingly out of reach. I have been wondering whether there are reasons to be more optimistic for 2017? Could this be the year that ‘patient benefits from genomic medicine’ is no longer newsworthy, and b...

Circulating tumour DNA technology: the future of cancer management?

Cancer is an increasing burden on the health system and projected incidence figures – that 1 in 2 of us born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer – make for gloomy reading. However, a combination of technological leaps and marginal gains have led to greatly improved survival figures for many cancers; with now 80% of patients surviving more than 10 years post diagnosis for ...

Science and health in the Brexit-bound UK

The immediate impact of the UK referendum vote in favour of leaving the European Union boded ill for science and health as the value of the pound plunged and attempts to secure new scientific EU collaborations struggled. Thus far, the UK economy continues to defy expectations, though forecasters generally agree that it is only a matter of time before the more complex and substantial effects of act...

Clinical proteome analysis – the key to personalised medicine?

While the genome contains a list of instructions for the cell written in DNA, the proteome comprises all the proteins within a cell or organism that are coded for by genes within the genome. The proteome is in effect a record of all the proteins that a cell needs to function in a certain state and therefore contains a lot of useful information. By studying and comparing the proteome i...

Machines that learn healthcare?

Machine learning for beginners: view the full infographic here.

The long road to safer antenatal choices

After a great deal of evidence gathering, consultation and discussion, the Department of Health has announced its approval of the introduction of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) as part of the NHS antenatal screening pathway.

Nutrigenomics- looking at the individual within their nutritional environment

We are bombarded with advice proclaiming the ‘best’ way to stay healthy, lose weight and improve our fitness. But despite the wealth of information available to us, in the UK, over 60% of adults and 30% of children are overweight or obese. Apart from the personal impact on individuals, the resource implications of this are staggering, with an estimated £7 billion spent in the NHS...

Science and health under the Brexit Government

Back in August, I expressed concern regarding the consequences of Brexit for UK health and science. Acknowledging the intimate links between the UK and the EU specifically in research and funding, I concluded that "so far, it doesn’t look good" for UK health and science. Despite a few developments, the prospects have not significantly improved.

Everyone's a winner? Health, wealth, innovation and the NHS

The recently released Accelerated Access Review (AAR) sets out proposals to ensure that NHS staff and patients can access useful innovations sooner.