AWMGS is pleased to announce the official public launch of the Cymru Service for Genomic Oncology DIagnoses, (CYSGODI)
To mark the public announcement, BBC Wales Today visited our main headquarters in Cardiff (University Hospital of Wales) to interview our Head of Laboratories Sian Morgan and also Consultant Clinical Scientist and Head of the Cancer division, Rhian White FRCPath who provided an insight into how the service came to fruition and the role of comprehensive genomic profiling in delivering ‘game changing’ benefits for cancer patients living in Wales.
Speaking about the service to BBC News Health Correspondent Ben Price, Rhian said:
“CYSGODI is a revolutionary service which will support Oncologists, Haematologists and other healthcare professionals to undertake rapid and extensive genomic analysis of cancer samples on an unprecedented scale in the UK. In doing so, will target patients who harbour specific changes in the genetic make-up of their cancer cells and providing more tailored treatment options using novel anti-cancer treatments which can significantly reduce the rate which cancer spreads in the body and improve survival outcomes compared to traditional approaches”.
When asked about the rationale behind the implementation of CYSGODI, Sian Morgan said:
“For our genomic laboratory and other genomic laboratories across the UK the major driver at the moment is the incorporation of emerging new technologies and the ability to detect a comprehensive list of genetic biomarkers or variants, which is then used to match a patient to the ever-increasing list of targeted therapy options for improved outcomes”.
“The concept of personalized medicines is not new, and the risk for laboratories is that if we don’t keep up with the increased demand for biomarker testing for patients then clinicians will not have access to the information they require for appropriate treatment care. Personalized medicine is a key strategic approach to cancer care ensuring that expensive treatments are evidenced based, whilst also giving best value and outcomes for patients”.
Advocate of comprehensive genomic profiling and also supporting the launch of CYSGODI was Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Chair of All Wales Genomics Oncology Group, Dr Samantha Cox who said:
"In my job as a cancer specialist (at Velindre University NHS Trust), I routinely request genetic testing for every patient with a particular type of lung cancer. I can see the real benefits that such personalised treatment offers. These newer treatments are usually better tolerated and are more convenient for patients, as they can often be taken as a daily tablet at home, avoiding the need for frequent trips to hospital for treatment”.
One patient who knows first-hand the significant impact this can have is Kate Molton who was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2017 yet is ‘now taking just one tablet a day which has let her carry on working and living normally’ (source: bbc.co.uk).
Speaking to BBC Wales Today Kate said: