A project to better embed Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) in South Yorkshire has led to a significant increase in completed WGS samples since January.
Tasha Morley, a Genomic Nurse Practitioner, began working with the Sarcoma multi-disciplinary team (MDT) based in Sheffield in January, to screen patients and identify those who would benefit most from WGS as part of their care.
Since then, 18 patients have consented to and completed WGS in 9 months, compared to 3 patients in the preceding 24 months.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (STHFT) treats patients with Sarcoma from South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and South Humberside. Sarcoma is a heterogenous group of diagnostically complex tumours associated with a poor prognosis. Pathogenic germline variants are found in ‘10% of sarcoma patients’ (Schipper, LJ et al 2022), suggesting that WGS may be of benefit.
Earlier this year, Tasha Morley, a Genomic Nurse Practitioner with the NEY Genomic Laboratory Hub (GLH), began working with the Sarcoma multi-disciplinary team (MDT) in Sheffield THFT to screen patients and identify those who would benefit most from WGS as part of their care.
Change in Action
Since January, Tasha has been attending the weekly Sarcoma MDT to highlight and confirm the patients potentially suitable for WGS. She then works with the surgical team to obtain the fresh tumour sample, completing the record of discussion with the patient, and obtaining the patient blood sample to provide the germline DNA. Tasha then liaises with pathology to ensure tumour sample cellularity is checked and sufficient. Fresh frozen sections are prepared to be sent to the Genomic Laboratory Hub.
Once the DNA analysis is complete, a report is created and discussed at a regional GTAB (Genomic Test Advisory Board) with any clinical recommendations returned to the treating clinician.
The number of completed WGS tests has increased to 18 sarcoma patients since January, compared to 3 patients in the preceding 24 months. The process also helped build stronger links with pathologists across the GLH.
The success of the project led to the team (T Morley, RJ Young, D Hughes) presenting this work as a poster at the September Genomics Research Summit in London.