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Additional Genes

A new genetic testing service for cancer patients is being introduced in Wales, BBC News reports.

It adds that cancer patients in Wales will be able to undergo testing through the Cymru Service for Genomic Oncology Diagnoses, which is part of the All Wales Medical Genomic Service, to detect changes in about 500 different genes, up from the 50 genes current examined. This, Rhian White, the head cancer genomics clinical scientist there says, means that more tumor types can undergo testing. The service also plans to expand testing capacity over the next decade, the BBC notes.

By expanding testing, the hope is to uncover targeted therapies from which patients might better benefit. "Where we compare the newer anti-cancer targeted therapies with more traditional therapies, like chemotherapy, we know the outcomes are often better in terms of controlling the cancer better and helping patients live for longer," Samantha Cox, a clinical oncologist, tells the BBC.