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Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine (WIPM)

Stephen Duffy


Centre for Cancer Prevention

Telephone: Tel: +44 (0) 20 7882 3535


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 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.

Projects List:


Cancer screening evaluation
Cancer epidemiology
Disease modelling