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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Professor Peter Sasieni


Professor of Cancer Epidemiology, Centre Co-Lead for the Centre for Cancer Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis



I am Professor of Cancer Epidemiology and joint lead of the Centre for Cancer Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis. I am also Director of the Cancer Research UK Cancer Prevention Trials Unit -at QMUL (CPTU). 

I have a background in mathematical statistics and epidemiology and have conducted cancer screening research and clinical trials for many years.

I am currently a lead (or co-lead) investigator on several large grants including: The NHS-Galleri trial of GRAIL’s multi-cancer early detection test in population screening; The CRUK-NIHR funded BEST4 platform studying the use of a Cytosponge in screening and surveillance of patients with heartburn; Two clinical trials funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research; and two Cancer Research UK programme grants.

I am a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded the 2023 Don Listwin Award for outstanding contribution to cancer early detection.


Research Interests:

I am interested in cancer screening: both evaluation of new technologies (such as liquid biopsies for multi-cancer early detection) and monitoring of existing screening programmes. Together with Professor David Weller (University of Edinburgh) I am leading a programme of research looking at how to improve bowel screening through stratification.

I have conducted research on both testing for and vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) and its link to cervical cancer. Current interest are: self-sampling to improve cervical screening coverage; and approaches to cervical cancer elimination in both low and middle income countries as well as in the UK.

I have worked with Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald (University of Cambridge) on her Cytosponge for many years and am interested in the epidemiology of oesophageal adenocarcinoma.

I am interested in clinical trials in interventions in cancer screening, therapeutic prevention, and early detection. I am currently working on several trials:

  • NHS Galleri – a randomised controlled trial of a multi-cancer blood test in population screening (together with Professors Charlie Swanton (Francis Crick Institute) and Richard Neal (University of Exeter)
  • BEST4-Surveiilance – a trial of a capsule sponge device and biomarkers in surveillance of patients with non-dysplastic Barrett’s oesophagus (together with Prof Fitzgerald and Dr Massimiliano di Pietro (Cambridge))
  • BEST4-Screening – a randomised controlled trial of a capsule sponge device in targeted screening to reduce morbidity and mortality for oesophageal adenocarcinoma (together with Prof Fitzgerald and Dr Tom Round (King’s College London)).
  • FINESSE – a randomised controlled trial to see if use of a well-tolerated drug (finasteride) can reduce the numbers of men on active surveillance for intermediate risk prostate cancer who go on to have radical treatment (with Professor Jim Catto (University of Sheffield)).
  • YORKSURe – a trial of bladder screening (with Prof Catto)
  • FIT4Lynch – a trial of bowel surveillance in patients with Lynch Syndrome (with Dr Kevin Monahan (Imperial))
  • NOVEL – a randomised controlled trial of HPV vaccination at the same time as excisional treatment for cervical pre-cancer (with Professor Mara Kyrgiou (Imperial)).

I have an active interest in developing new statistical methodology especially in the area of clinical trial design and causal-inference in the presence of non-compliance.


Please follow through for a complete list of Peter's publications.

  1. Sasieni PD. From genotypes to genes: doubling the sample size. Biometrics. 1997 Dec;53(4):1253-61. 
  2. Ahmad AS, Ormiston-Smith N, Sasieni PD. Trends in the lifetime risk of developing cancer in Great Britain: comparison of risk for those born from 1930 to 1960. Br J Cancer. 2015 Mar 3;112(5):943-7.
  3. Cuzick J, Szarewski A, Cubie H, Hulman G, Kitchener H, Luesley D, McGoogan E, Menon U, Terry G, Edwards R, Brooks C, Desai M, Gie C, Ho L, Jacobs I, Pickles C, Sasieni P. Management of women who test positive for high-risk types of human papillomavirus: the HART study. Lancet. 2003 Dec 6;362(9399):1871-6.
  4. Falcaro M, Castañon A, Ndlela B, Checchi M, Soldan K, Lopez-Bernal J, Elliss-Brookes L, Sasieni P. The effects of the national HPV vaccination programme in England, UK, on cervical cancer and grade 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia incidence: a register-based observational study. Lancet. 2021 Nov 3:S0140-6736(21)02178-4.
  5. Fitzgerald RC, di Pietro M, O'Donovan M, Maroni R, Muldrew B, Debiram-Beecham I, Gehrung M, Offman J, Tripathi M, Smith SG, Aigret B, Walter FM, Rubin G; BEST3 Trial team, Sasieni P. Cytosponge-trefoil factor 3 versus usual care to identify Barrett's oesophagus in a primary care setting: a multicentre, pragmatic, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2020 Aug 1;396(10247):333-344.
  6. Ahmad AS, Offman J, Delon C, North BV, Shelton J, Sasieni PD. Years of life lost due to cancer in the United Kingdom from 1988 to 2017. Br J Cancer. 2023 Nov;129(10):1558-1568.
  7. Sasieni P, Smittenaar R, Hubbell E, Broggio J, Neal RD, Swanton C. Modelled mortality benefits of multi-cancer early detection screening in England. Br J Cancer. 2023 Jul;129(1):72-80.
  8. Hill W, Lim EL, Weeden CE, et al. Lung adenocarcinoma promotion by air pollutants. Nature. 2023 Apr;616(7955):159-167.
  9. Pilonis ND, Killcoyne S, Tan WK, et al. Use of a Cytosponge biomarker panel to prioritise endoscopic Barrett's oesophagus surveillance: a cross-sectional study followed by a real-world prospective pilot. Lancet Oncol. 2022 Feb;23(2):270-278.
  10. Duffy SW, Vulkan D, Cuckle H, Parmar D, Sheikh S, Smith RA, Evans A, Blyuss O, Johns L, Ellis IO, Myles J, Sasieni PD, Moss SM. Effect of mammographic screening from age 40 years on breast cancer mortality (UK Age trial): final results of a randomised, controlled trial. Lancet Oncol. 2020 Sep;21(9):1165-1172.
  11. Arnold M, Rutherford MJ, Bardot A, et al. Progress in cancer survival, mortality, and incidence in seven high-income countries 1995-2014 (ICBP SURVMARK-2): a population-based study. Lancet Oncol. 2019 Nov;20(11):1493-1505.
  12. Castanon A, Parmar D, Massat NJ, Sasieni P, Duffy SW. Benefit of Biennial Fecal Occult Blood Screening on Colorectal Cancer in England: A Population-Based Case-Control Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2022 Sep 9;114(9):1262-1269.
  13. Castanon A, Green LI, Sasieni P. Impact of screening between the ages of 60 and 64 on cumulative rates of cervical cancer to age 84y by screening history at ages 50 to 59: A population-based case-control study. Prev Med. 2021 Aug;149:106625.


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