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Selected Recent Publications

  • Bailey S, Ukoumunne O, Shephard E, Hamilton W. Clinical relevance of thrombocytosis in primary care: a prospective cohort study of cancer incidence using UK electronic medical records and cancer registry data. Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67: e40-5-13.

  • Benton SC, Butler P, Allen K, et al. GP participation in increasing uptake in a national bowel cancer screening programme: the PEARL project. Br J Cancer 2017; 116: 1551-1557

  • Duffy SW, Dibden A, Michalopoulos D, Offman J, Parmar D, Jenkins J, Collins B, Robson T, Scorfield S, Green K, Hall C, Liao XH, Ryan M, Johnson F, Stevens G, Kearins O, Sellars S, Patnick J. Screen detection of ductal carcinoma in situ and subsequent incidence of invasive interval breast cancers: a retrospective population-based study. Lancet Oncol. 2016;17:109-14.

  • Friedemann Smith C, Whitaker KL, Winstanley K, Wardle J. Smokers are less likely than non-smokers to seek help for a lung cancer 'alarm' symptom. Thorax. 2016 Jul;71(7):659-6

  • Green T, Atkin K, Macleod U.  GPs’ perceptions and experiences of public awareness campaigns for cancer: a qualitative enquiry. Health Expectations 2016; 19: 377-87

  • Martins T, Hamilton WT. The influence of ethnicitiy on diagnosis of cancer. Fam Pract 2016; 33: 325-6

  • Massat NJ, Dibden A, Parmar D, Cuzick J, Sasieni PD, Duffy SW. Impact of Screening on Breast Cancer Mortality: The UK Program 20 Years On. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 25:455-62

  • Niksic M, Rachet B, Duffy SW, Quaresma M, Møller H, Forbes LJ. Is cancer survival associated with cancer symptom awareness and barriers to seeking medical help in England? An ecological study. Br J Cancer. 2016; 115: 876-86

  • Niksic M, Rachet B, Warburton FG, Forbes LJL. Ethnic differences in cancer symptom awareness and barriers to seeking medical help in England. Br J Cancer 2016; 115: 136-44

  • Sheringham J, Sequeira R, Myles J, Hamilton W, McDonnell J, Offman J, Duffy S, Raine R. Variations in GPs’ Decisions to Investigate Suspected Lung Cancer: A Factorial Experiment Using Multimedia Vignettes. BMJ Qual Saf. 2016; 26: 449-59
  • Walker S. Hamilton W. Risk of cervical cancer in symptomatic women aged ≥40 in primary care: A case-control study using electronic records. European Journal of Cancer Care 2017 May;26(3). doi: 10.1111/ecc.12706

Latest News

Some recent results

Cancer awareness: Areas in England with higher levels of cancer awareness have higher cancer survival rates. This suggests that efforts to promote awareness, for example, the Be Clear on Cancer campaigns, are worthwhile. See http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v115/n7/full/bjc2016246a.html?foxtrotcallback=true

Cancer awareness: Some non-malignant comorbidities are associated with increased help-seeeking for potential cancer symptoms but some are associated with delayed help-seeking, for example heart disease patients are less likely to seek help for bowel symptoms. See https://academic.oup.com/jpubhealth/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/pubmed/fdx072

Cancer awareness: In terms of ethnicity, symptom awareness (both visible and functional symptoms) is low in black and Asian populations, with particularly low levels in the black population. Barriers to presentation, especially in terms of other life priorities and communicaiton difficulties, are strongest in the Asian population. See https://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v115/n1/full/bjc2016158a.html

Cancer screening: Postal reminders increase participation rates in breast cancer screening, including in deprived populations. See http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v114/n2/full/bjc2015451a.html?foxtrotcallback=true

Cancer screening: Second timed appointments for non-attenders at breast screening increase participation rates, also in deprived populations. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470204517303406?via%3Dihub

Cancer screening: Higher detection rates of ductal carcinoma in situ at screening are associated with lower subsequent rates of symptomatic invasive cancer. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470204515004465?via%3Dihub

Early diagnosis: Thrombocytosis is associated with subsequent diagnosis of cancer and may therefore be a useful marker for early cancer. See http://bjgp.org/content/67/659/e405.long

Early diagnosis: Thrombocytosis may be particularly useful in diagnosing colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease in patients younger than 50 years. See http://bjgp.org/content/67/658/e336.long

Early diagnosis: In an online virtual consultation study, black and older patients with relevant symptoms were less likely to be referred for further investigation. See http://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/26/6/449.long



Please find a list below of the leading investigators in the Policy Research Unit (PRU)

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Queen Mary, University of London

Stephen Duffy, Queen Mary, University of London



Peter Sasieni, Queen Mary, University of London

Vice Director. Soon to move to King's College London


Jack Cuzick, Queen Mary, University of London


Kings College London

The King's College partnership has ceased, although the research is still travelling along the route to publication.

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Michel Coleman, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Bernard Rachet, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

University of Durham

Greg Rubin, University of Durham

Professor Rubins Department has now moved to Newcastle

University of Exeter

Willie Hamilton, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry