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Welcome to the new genomics: an introduction to the NHS Genomic Medicine Service for oral healthcare professionals


Genomic medicine is on the threshold of a significant advance in the United Kingdom (UK) with the introduction of a National Health Service (NHS) Genomic Medicine Service. This world-leading initiative aims to integrate genomic medicine into routine NHS care and has the potential to revolutionise healthcare in the UK, including dentistry. The initial focus will be on increasing diagnostic services for rare diseases and cancer, while also harnessing the use of personalised medicine for therapeutic interventions in multiple disorders. Here, we provide a brief overview of this new service, outlining the historical background that has led to its development and how it will work, as well as discussing some of the wider implications for healthcare within the NHS and highlighting the potential longer-term impact of genomics for oral health.

Key points

  • Includes information about the new NHS Genomic Medicine Service.

  • Discusses the implications of this service for healthcare.

  • Includes information on how this service might impact on dentistry.

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Correspondence to Martyn T. Cobourne.

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MTC and AS represent the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Genomics Education Programme at Health Education England, respectively on the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Genomic Clinical Champions Group. The remit of this group is to oversee the work related to championing and supporting the NHS in embedding the use of genomic medicine into clinical practice. This will help to ensure that the NHS is prepared to harness the full potential of genomics across all clinical specialities. The main role of the group is to ensure the work meets its objectives, and to provide guidance and advice on current and future work.

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Cobourne, M., Irving, M. & Seller, A. Welcome to the new genomics: an introduction to the NHS Genomic Medicine Service for oral healthcare professionals. Br Dent J 229, 682–686 (2020).

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