Kidney patient Rob Finnigan with nurses Jackie Evans and Melanie Kershaw

Kidney patient Rob signs up to 100,000 Genomes Project

Salford Royal patients are helping to change how NHS patients are treated and cared for by taking part in the pioneering 100,000 Genomes Project.

Patients with rare diseases and their families, as well as patients with cancer, are being invited to take part in the nationwide project by giving samples of their DNA. Salford Royal is particularly interested in people with rare kidney problems and also those with brain tumours as these are areas of clinical expertise in Salford.

Your genome represents the instructions for making and maintaining you. It contains 3.2 billion ‘letters’ within your DNA which make up around 20,000 genes. Many conditions have at least some genetic basis and differences in the patterns of a particular disease in individuals might also have a genetic basis.

Kidney patient Rob Finnigan has already agreed to take part. He said: “This project excites me enormously and I encourage others to take part in an endeavour that could lead to significant advances in future healthcare.”

The kidney part of the project at Salford Royal is focusing on people with inherited kidney diseases such as polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), Alport’s syndrome and atypical haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (aHUS). It is led by Professor Phil Kalra, who said: “We are proud to be part of the largest national DNA sequencing project of its kind in the world. The generosity of our patients and their families in giving samples could have far-reaching results in the lives of many people.

“We hope that by improving our understanding of these conditions and why they have different effects in different people, the 100,000 Genomes Project will be the first step towards offering patients new and more effective treatments.”

Eligible patients and their families will be asked to take part by their hospital doctor or nurse. Nationwide, the project will sequence (read the DNA of) 100,000 genomes by early in 2018.

Rob is pictured with Research Nurses Jackie Evans and Mel Kershaw.