Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the DNA mapping project was designed for medical research.
He told Sky News: "That will enable us to make groundbreaking discoveries about how cancer works; about who is susceptible to cancer; how we can head it off; what treatments might work."
"It's something that I hope will mean we can avoid heartache for thousands of people every year who lose a loved-one prematurely because they get a cancer that we simply don't know how to deal with."
More top news
It's been a remarkable week for the US President as he enters the final stage of his presidency.
The two brightest planets in the solar system will appear close to collision tonight, an illusion caused by line of sight.
US superstore apologises after a customer who had his request for a Confederate flag cake rejected managed to get an ISIS flag cake instead.