4 July 2017

The College supports the Chief Medical Officer's vision of the potential of genomics to improve health and to prevent ill-health.

Dr Suzy Lishman, President, The Royal College of Pathologists:

“The Royal College of Pathologists fully supports Professor Dame Sally Davies’ vision that cancer patients should be routinely offered DNA tests to help their doctors select the best treatments, irrespective of where they live.

The College also supports Dame Sally’s "genomic dream", including the move to a national service to ensure that DNA testing becomes standard across cancer care, as well as other areas of medicine, including rare diseases and infections.

Pathologists will be central to delivering this vision; they are the specialists who diagnose cancer, select tissue for DNA testing, perform the tests and interpret the results.

However, not all NHS pathology laboratories have the facilities to process tissue for DNA testing, so investment will be required to update equipment and appoint appropriate staff. As it takes over 10 years to train a pathologist, action must be taken now to ensure that pathology services have the highly trained personnel needed to deliver this revolution in genomic medicine."