In October 2010 the Technology Strategy Board announced the launch of the Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform (SMIP), a partnership of government, researchers and business. This major UK initiative estimates to invest nearly £200m over the next 5 years in R&D areas in personalised medicine, with a key focus on cancer. This POSTnote will explore technological advances that are leading to the potential for molecular diagnoses of tumours and the consequences for drug development and treatment. This note will also consider the current scientific and economic limitations to personalised cancer treatment and the challenges involved in making genetic testing a routine part of cancer diagnosis. For further information please contact Hollie Chandler.