• The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
• Oglesby Cancer Research Building
• MFT - Saint Mary’s Hospital
• The University of Manchester

The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine is one of the leading centres for clinical genomics in Europe, with 250 doctors, genetic counsellors, informaticians, scientists and other researcher staff working in a purpose-built space designed to promote interaction and creativity. Within the centre, there are research programmes in neuropsychiatry, developmental and functional eye disorders, biochemical genetics and birth defects, as well as cancer genetics. Our clinical geneticists play a key role in the 100,000 Genomes Project, which will sequence 100,000 genomes from around 70,000 people: patients with a rare disease, plus their families, and patients with cancer.

We investigate hereditary tumour dispositions, amongst which we focus on inherited breast and ovarian cancer, schwannomatosis, neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2, and Lynch and Gorlin syndromes. Alongside this, our researchers explore how genetic variants are important in altering an individual’s risks of developing breast cancer and how genetic information can make the breast cancer screening programme more effective.

Our basic and discovery science projects in genomics include development of NGS, RNAseq and ctDNA approaches to understanding carcinogenesis, tumour progression and treatment response/resistance. Across a range of disease sites, we harness bioinformatics to sift our rich datasets in order to identify candidate genes and SNPs, to uncover patterns in gene expression, and to probe the genome-decoding process.

We are identifying the common genetic variants that influence risk of side-effects following radiotherapy. The Radiogenomics: Assessment of Polymorphisms for Predicting the Effects of Radiotherapy (RAPPER) study coordinates the national collection of samples and data to enable adequate powering of studies, and we provide leadership for the Radiogenomics Consortium to facilitate international collaboration.

We are interested in exploring how genetics can inform therapeutic approach. The TARGET trial is implementing liquid biopsy-based genetic testing in early phase clinical research to molecularly profile each patient and enter them into the most appropriate study of a novel targeted agent. Our scientists are also probing gene expression signatures of hypoxia. Our head and neck signature is undergoing biomarker qualification in the NIMRAD trial to test whether it can predict patients who benefit from having hypoxia-targeting treatment with their  radiotherapy. Signatures for other cancers are progressing into clinical trials. We link into the genomics pathway within Greater Manchester Cancer, which is supporting the creation of a new genomic medicine service for the NHS.

As well as identifying individuals at high risk of cancer through carriage of high risk genes such as BRCA1, BRCA2 and mismatch repair genes, the centre has also taken an international lead on population risk stratification. The PROCAS study recruited 58,000 women in Greater Manchester and has shown that population risk stratification for breast cancer is feasible and can accurately divide women into risk categories using a combination of standard risk factors, mammographic density and a polygenic risk score from SNPs.




Genomic Medicine

Medical Oncology