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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Unit


A medical staff overseeing a patient's X-Ray scan

UNIT LEADS Fiona Walter
and Stephen Duffy

Patients experience symptoms and have detectable changes in blood and other biomarkers in the time prior to their cancer diagnosis, thereby creating a time window in which imaging or biomarker testing may facilitate timely diagnosis. The overriding research theme of this unit is to evaluate pathways to diagnosis of cancer at an earlier and more treatable stage, both symptomatically and by screening. We achieve this by a combination of clinical and behavioural studies in community, primary and secondary care settings and within the existing NHS Cancer Screening Programmes in the UK. We hold major programme funding for these activities from the Department of Health and Social Care (via the National Institute for Health Research and Policy), Cancer Research UK, and Barts Charity. We also lead an NIHR Global Health Group advancing early diagnosis of cancer in South Africa.

  • Enhancing timely diagnosis of cancer in primary care, focusing on biomarkers, imaging, and AI/machine learning approaches.

  • Evaluating existing screening programmes and proposed screening innovations.

  • Addressing patient and healthcare system barriers to early detection and timely diagnosis of cancer.


Prof. Stephen Duffy

Dr. Samantha Quaife

Prof. Fiona Walter

Dr. Grace Okoli

Prof. Suzanne Scott

Dr. Oleg Blyuss

Prof. Georgia Black

Dr. Judith Offman



Charterhouse Square

Naomi Turnbull, 



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