The North Central London Lynch Surveillance Hub has been launched at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH). It will monitor, counsel and advise patients who are living with Lynch Syndrome.
This is an inherited variation in certain genes which increases a person’s risk of endometrial, ovarian or colorectal cancers. Lynch Syndrome affects approximately one in 350 to one in 400 people. In the UK 200,000-300,000 people are likely to have the condition, but it is estimated that only 5% of people with Lynch Syndrome have been diagnosed.
The North Central London Cancer Alliance has been working with the NHS Genomic Medicine Service to increase and improve Lynch Syndrome testing pathways. As a result, the number of diagnoses is expected to increase. The Lynch Surveillance Hub at UCLH has been set up to manage diagnosed patients and their first-degree relatives from across North Central London.
The hub will offer patients counselling on how their risk of cancer can be managed, symptom awareness, and coordination of surveillance for gynaecological and colorectal cancers, for example through transvaginal ultrasound, two-yearly colonoscopies, and blood tests. When necessary, surgery will be offered to remove pelvic organs to reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers.
Dr Roser Vega, UCLH consultant gastroenterologist and a clinical lead for the hub, commented: “We are delighted to be able to launch this hub which provides the opportunity to prevent cancers through risk reduction techniques and detect at an earlier stage, those cancers that cannot be prevented.”
A patient will be identified as having Lynch Syndrome in their local trust and genetics centre before being transferred to UCLH for life-long care.