Cancer Research UK has enrolled the first 240 patients in its Stratified Medicine Programme, designed to create a multi-gene testing panel for oncology drugs.

It is hoped that the £5.5m programme will aid the development of oncology drugs tailored to differing tumour characteristics, whereas a database of information on targeted cancer therapies will also be compiled.

Supported by both AstraZeneca and Pfizer, the programme plans to test up to 9,000 tumour samples to identify genetic markers in cancers including breast, bowel, lung, prostate, ovarian, and melanoma.

Medical staff from seven Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres across the UK will participate in the programme.