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Access to genetics results allows for more personalised cancer treatments

Doctors in Wales are now able to access digital genetic test results for urgent cancer patients, following a recent update to the Welsh Clinical Portal (WCP).

Sight of this additional data means clinicians are able to identify whether genetic changes in patients could impact their treatment, allowing for the development of more personalised treatment plans.

Dr Samantha Cox, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, said:

“The use of genetic testing in oncology is rapidly increasing and offers an exciting opportunity to tailor treatment for patients who are found to have certain changes in the genetic make-up of cells in their blood or tumour. However, in order to identify suitable patients and to ensure cancer treatments are given safely and in a timely manner, it is vital that the full original and unabridged report can be easily accessed by all members of the multidisciplinary team, regardless of which health board or speciality requested the test." 

"The uploading of AWMGS cancer genomics reports onto WCP is a fantastic service development which is already benefiting patient care, especially given the recent move to virtual medicine and remote working during COVID19. Results are now safely documented and stored in a central, electronic location and as reports are easily searched for (using the ‘GEN’ filter function on the WCP ‘Tests’ tab), clinical time is saved which means we can focus on planning and delivering patient care rather than chasing results. A huge thanks to all those involved who have worked to achieving this at pace despite the challenges of the last 12 months”.

The data, which is now available in the WCP via the All Wales Medical Genomics Service, includes urgent cancer test results covering a range of different types of cancer.

The WCP is available to clinicians in all health boards across Wales and works by sharing and displaying digital patient information from a number of sources with a single log-on, even if that information is spread across health organisations. With information in one place it means clinicians always have access to up to date and accurate patient records.

The system has recently become available as a mobile app, and is currently used by more than 27,000 NHS Wales health professionals.