The West London Genomic Medicine Centre (WLGMC)

The West London Genomic Medicine Centre (WLGMC)

The West London Genomic Medicine Centre (WLGMC) was led by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in partnership with their local delivery partners, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.

The WLGMC was established in 2015 as one of thirteen Genomic Medicine Centres designated by NHS England to support the Government’s national 100,000 Genomes Project.

The purpose of the 100,000 Genomes Project was to recruit patients with cancer or a rare disease and to harness Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) technology with the aim of improving patient care and making the UK a world leader in genomic medicine.

The project was a success with 95,000 participants being recruited and over 100,000 genomes sequenced.

The 100,000 Genomes Project (100K)

Eligible patients were introduced to the project, provided with a Patient Information Sheet (PIS) for an informed consent, and given the opportunity to ask further questions about they had about the project.

Rare disease participants were asked to donate a blood sample and sometimes a blood sample was also requested from their family members to assist with the interpretation of the data and might assist in determining why some family member’s had a rare disease and others didn’t.

Cancer participants were asked to donate a sample of their tumour or bone marrow, as well as a sample of blood or saliva. This was so that scientists could look at the differences between a patients cancer cells and their normal cells to attempt to identify the causes of a patient’s cancer.

The WLGMC successfully recruited over 1,600 participants with a rare disease and over 800 participants with a cancer.

Return of Results (RoR)

The Clinical Scientists at WLGMC are currently working collaboratively with specialist consultants to interpret and report on all project results and returning these to the appropriate clinicians.

Due to the high volume and in some cases, the complexity of participant’s results to report on this is longer than we had anticipated.

However please be assured that if there is a finding reported that may have implications for individuals or family members, the referring consultant will discuss these with their patients, and may refer individuals or families to a Clinical Genetics Service or genetic counselling.

Our highly skilled Genetic Consultants and Genetic Counsellors will discuss the results with you in detail and provide further information or additional testing.

The NHS Genomic Medicine Service (GMS)

Under ambitious plans revealed as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, whole genome sequencing (WGS) will for the first time be available as a routine clinical test under the new Genomic Medicine Service.

The WLGMC has been actively involved in supporting the introduction of the National Genomic Medicine Service, which includes developing and implementing new patient and testing pathways.

In order for this new service to be successful, it is important to increase the understanding and awareness both in the UK and internationally amongst the wider public of genomics and its potential to transform the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease whilst showcasing how the UK is leading the world in genomics and personalised medicine.

Through effective communications and engagement, we will ensure all staff who work at the WLGMC will receive accurate and timely communications about national policy developments, operational issues and training and development opportunities so that they feel supported in delivering their work,  and empowered to be advocates in the wider system.

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)

The WLGMC will continue to embed patient and public involvement and engagement building strong partnerships with patient groups and ensuring we are meeting our legal duties to involve and engage.

Contact Information

For more information on the WLGMC please contact our Genomic department on 0203 311 0269 or, or you can visit our website on the link below: