Professor Stephen Duffy

BSc, MSc, CStat
Professor of Cancer Screening
Group Leader, Research Theme Lead
Research Focus

My research activities are concentrated on cancer screening and early diagnosis. There is potential for considerable saving of lives from cancer if it were diagnosed at an earlier stage.

Key Publications

Long term effects of once-only flexible sigmoidoscopy screening after 17 years of follow-up: the UK Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Screening randomised controlled trial. Lancet (2017) 389:1299-1311. PMID: 28236467

Screen detection of ductal carcinoma in situ and subsequent incidence of invasive interval breast cancers: a retrospective population-based study. Lancet Oncol (2016) 17(1):109-14. PMID: 26655422

Mammographic surveillance in women younger than 50 years who have a family history of breast cancer: tumour characteristics and projected effect on mortality in the prospective, single arm FH01 study. Lancet Oncol (2010) 11: 1127-34. PMID: 21093374

Swedish Two-County Trial: impact of mammographic screening on  breast cancer mortality during three decades. Radiol (2011) 260: 658-63. PMID: 21712474 

Major Funding
  • 2019-2023- NIHR, Policy Research Unit in Cancer Awareness, Screening and Early Diagnosis, £5M 

Other Activities
  • Member of the National Screening Committee
  • Screening Editor, European Guidelines Development Group for Breast Cancer Screening and Early Diagnosis
  • Member of the Breast Screening Advisory Committee
  • Member of the Bowel Screening Advisory Committee
Research

Projects List:

Other Activities
  • Member of the National Screening Committee
  • Screening Editor, European Guidelines Development Group for Breast Cancer Screening and Early Diagnosis
  • Member of the Breast Screening Advisory Committee
  • Member of the Bowel Screening Advisory Committee
Major Funding
  • 2019-2023- NIHR, Policy Research Unit in Cancer Awareness, Screening and Early Diagnosis, £5M 
Recent Publications

Lung Screen Uptake Trial: Results from a single lung cancer screening round Ruparel M, Quaife SL, Dickson JL et al. Thorax (2020) 75(7) 908-912

Effect of mammographic screening from age 40 years on breast cancer mortality (UK Age trial): final results of a randomised, controlled trial Duffy SW, Vulkan D, Cuckle H et al. The Lancet Oncology (2020) 21(7) 1165-1172

Monitoring and evaluation of breast cancer screening programmes: selecting candidate performance indicators Muratov S, Canelo-Aybar C, Tarride JE et al. BMC cancer (2020) 20(7) 795

Online patient simulation training to improve clinical reasoning: A feasibility randomised controlled trial Plackett R, Kassianos AP, Kambouri M et al. BMC Medical Education (2020) 20(7)

First results from five multidisciplinary diagnostic centre (MDC) projects for non-specific but concerning symptoms, possibly indicative of cancer. Chapman D, Poirier V, Vulkan D et al. Br J Cancer (2020) 123(1) 722-729
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32624574

Economic evaluation of population-based brca1/brca2 mutation testing across multiple countries and health systems Manchanda R, Sun L, Patel S et al. Cancers (2020) 12(7) 1-38

Mammography screening reduces rates of advanced and fatal breast cancers: Results in 549,091 women Duffy SW, Tabár L, Yen AMF et al. Cancer (2020) 126(7) 2971-2979

Precision science on incidence and progression of early-detected small breast invasive cancers by mammographic features Chang RWJ, Chuang SL, Hsu CY et al. Cancers (2020) 12(7) 1-14

Prevalence, symptom burden, and underdiagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a lung cancer screening cohort Ruparel M, Quaife SL, Dickson JL et al. Annals of the American Thoracic Society (2020) 17(7) 869-878

What are the benefits and harms of risk stratified screening as part of the NHS breast screening Programme? Study protocol for a multi-site non-randomised comparison of BC-predict versus usual screening (NCT04359420) French DP, Astley S, Astley S et al. BMC Cancer (2020) 20(7)

For additional publications, please click here
Team

Statistician
Oleg Blyuss, Amanda Dibden, Roberta Maroni, Daniel Vulkan

Study Coordinator
Jonathan Myles

Senior Data Manager
Dharmishta Parmar

Administrator
Oley Begum

Biography

I am a statistician by training, educated at the University of Edinburgh and Imperial College, London. I have worked in the UK, Singapore, France, Sweden and Russia.

For the last three decades, my research has been mainly in cancer epidemiology, prevention and screening. I worked on the pioneering Swedish Two-County Trial of breast cancer screening, on which the UK's national breast screening programme was based.

Since then I have taken a major role in a number of other trials of cancer screening, in breast, colorectal and lung cancer. These include the UK Trial of Flexible Sigmoidoscopy whose results changed national policy within weeks of publication, and the FH01 study of annual mammography in young women at enhanced familial risk of breast cancer, which contributed to the NICE guidelines on breast cancer risk management.

I am currently Director of the Policy Research Unit in Cancer Awareness, Screening and Early Diagnosis, funded by the Department of Health.

It is a collaboration between researchers from seven institutions (Queen Mary University of London, UCL, King's College London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Hull York Medical School, Durham University and Peninsula Medical School). The aim of the unit is to carry out research to inform policy to promote earlier diagnosis of cancer, symptomatically or by screening, and as a consequence bring down mortality from cancer.

In our strand of the Unit in Queen Mary University of London, our team concentrates on research aimed at evaluating cancer screening programmes, and devising innovations to these which will improve their effect on death from cancer, enhance their acceptability to the public and minimise side effects of screening, such as false positive rates.