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

Patient barriers and facilitators of colonoscopy use: A rapid systematic review and thematic synthesis of the qualitative literature. Kerrison RS, Sheik-Mohamud D, McBride E et al. Prev Med (2021) 145(2) 106413
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33412167

Colorectal cancer risk following polypectomy in a multicentre, retrospective, cohort study: an evaluation of the 2020 UK post-polypectomy surveillance guidelines. Cross AJ, Robbins EC, Pack K et al. Gut (2021) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33674342

Beneficial Effect of Consecutive Screening Mammography Examinations on Mortality from Breast Cancer: A Prospective Study. Duffy SW, Tabár L, Yen AM-F et al. Radiology (2021) (2) 203935
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33650900

Artificial intelligence techniques that may be applied to primary care data to facilitate earlier diagnosis of cancer: Systematic review Jones OT, Calanzani N, Saji S et al. Journal of Medical Internet Research (2021) 23(7)

Including a general practice endorsement letter with the testing kit in the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme: Results of a cluster randomised trial. Cross AJ, Myles J, Greliak P et al. J Med Screen (2021) (2) 969141321997480
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33645308

Benefits and harms of breast cancer mammography screening for women at average risk of breast cancer: A systematic review for the European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer. Canelo-Aybar C, Ferreira DS, Ballesteros M et al. J Med Screen (2021) (2) 969141321993866
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33632023

Recommendations from the European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer for multigene testing to guide the use of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with early breast cancer, hormone receptor positive, HER-2 negative. Giorgi Rossi P, Lebeau A, Canelo-Aybar C et al. Br J Cancer (2021) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33597715

A case-control study to evaluate the impact of the breast screening programme on mortality in England Maroni R, Massat NJ, Parmar D et al. British Journal of Cancer (2021) 124(7) 736-743

Detection of involved margins in breast specimens with X-ray phase-contrast computed tomography. Massimi L, Suaris T, Hagen CK et al. Sci Rep (2021) 11(2) 3663
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33574584

A combination of urinary biomarker panel and PancRISK score for earlier detection of pancreatic cancer: A case-control study Debernardi S, O'Brien H, Algahmdi AS et al. PLoS Medicine (2020) 17(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.