The Pathology Accelerator project will enable more rapid processing of tumour samples and diagnosis for patients.
Did you know that cellular pathology is vital for genomic testing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers?
What is cellular pathology?
Cellular pathology (also known as histopathology) is the study of diseases of organs and tissues. It underpins all aspects of a patient’s care from diagnosis, to personalised treatment, and the ongoing monitoring of a patient’s condition. Cellular pathology is key to the analysis of tumour tissue and diagnosis of cancer.
Advances in genomics is shaping our approach in cellular pathology:
Pathologists now have access to genomic information, as well as any structural abnormalities in the tissue visible by microscopy, which can enable more precise diagnosis and risk prediction;
Providing additional sub-typing of cancers and the development of targeted treatments.
How will this project make a difference?
This project aims to analyse and improve the ways in which tumour samples for solid cancers are processed and used for diagnosis to optimise turnaround times and ensure a high-quality process across the NHS Genomic Medicine Service.
Ultimately, this will provide better outcomes for patients through the provision of more accurate and earlier diagnosis and a personalised approach to treatment.
This will be achieved by bringing together clinical leads, biomedical scientists and all other roles where cellular pathology is involved to assess what is needed and to help develop educational and training resources for the workforce.
The project is being led nationally by NHS North Thames Genomic Medicine Service Alliance (GMSA) and is being overseen and coordinated in our region by the North East and Yorkshire GMSA.
What are we doing in the North East and Yorkshire?
Nationally the project is underway with several regions working to embed best practice genomic pathways into services and identifying regional challenges. In the North East and Yorkshire, we plan to start the project later in the year.
An important part of this work will be engagement with cancer healthcare professionals and cancer patients, so that they understand at which stage in the optimised pathways tumour testing is needed and know what to do afterwards with a positive result.
All regions will come together in March 2023, to share good practice and work through challenges to deliver more equitable cancer genomic testing.