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East Genomics

PROGRESS Programme - Pharmacogenomics Roll Out and gauging response to service

Lead: NHS North West GMS Alliance

Pharmacogenomics considers how the genes in your DNA affect your response to medications, and how to use this information to allow clinicians to choose treatments better suited for individual patients.

A pharmacogenomic test has been implemented via a national transformation programme and is available through the National Genomic Test Directory

  • DPYD testing looks for variants of a gene that encodes an enzyme involved in the breakdown of certain chemotherapy drugs (fluoropyrimidines); if a variant is present it may mean the patient is at a higher risk of toxic side effects and in rare cases death on these medicines. By testing before treatment, regimens can be adjusted or changed as appropriate to reduce this risk. .
  • Up to 38,000 people start chemotherapy with these drugs and up to 40 per cent could experience adverse reactions, with it proving fatal in 1 per cent.

The PROGRESS Programme will investigate areas of pharmacogenetic delivery with a view to providing valuable insight to an approach that can be adopted across the NHS in England. These areas are:

  • The development of a pharmacogenetic gene panel for the NHS
  • Developing a pharmacogenetics advisory system
  • Deploying a pharmacogenetic service in clinical practice including early deployment and scaling up of the programme.

To support this the NHS GMS works closely with GMSA Pharmacy Clinical Leads, to support the pharmacy profession to harness the power and potential of genomics to optimise the treatments patients receive.