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Done
Support research into the diagnosis and treatment of rare cancers and other diseases

We will continue to support research into the diagnosis and treatment of rare cancers and other diseases, including Genomics England’s work in decoding 100,000 genomes.

Our Verdict

The latest cancer registration statistics from the Office for National Statistics show that:

  • in 2017, the number of new cancer diagnoses in England continued to increase from 303,135 in 2016 to 305,683.
  • the rate of people dying from cancer in England has decreased from 275.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2016 to 270.1 deaths per 100,000 in 2017.

As part of efforts to decrease the number of new diagnoses and further reduce the rate of people dying from cancer and other diseases, this policy is a promise to “continue” supporting research into diagnosis and treatment.

Genomics England was established to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project, which aimed to “sequence 100,000 whole genomes from NHS patients with rare diseases, and their families, as well as patients with common cancers”. As a government-funded body, the mere fact of the continued existence of Genomics England satisfies the second part of this pledge – to support “Genomics England’s work in decoding 100,000 genomes”.

In December 2018, government announced they had completed sequencing 100,000 genomes. A further development has been the establishment of the NHS Genomic Medicine Service, aiming to sequence 1 million genomes over the next five years.

Looking at the larger promise to support research of rare cancers and other diseases, the NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, outlines various strategies to drive research and innovation. And the second Life Sciences Deal, published in December 2018 as part of the government’s broader Industrial Strategy, contains a raft of collaborative initiatives between government, the commercial sector, universities and charities, aimed at driving research into diagnosis and treatment.

There’s plenty of evidence that the government has continued to support research in this area, so this policy is ‘done’.

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