Improving cancer screening
Professor Peter Sasieni is a respected researcher in the field of cancer screening. Based at the Wolfson Institute in London, he is helping to ensure that existing NHS cervical screening programme runs as efficiently as possible. He is also working to improve bowel screening for people at high risk of the disease. And he is director of a new clinical trials unit specialising in cancer screening and prevention.
Cervical cancer prevention
The NHS cervical screening programme already prevents thousands of cases of cervical cancer every year. Professor Sasieni's work will help to improve it even further. His team is currently investigating whether testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) - certain strains of which are the cause of cervical cancer - could save even more lives than current methods.
Professor Sasieni is also leading CRISP-I - a trial of a supplement called di-indolylmethane (DIM) that could help to prevent cervical cancer. DIM is based on a chemical found in certain vegetables.
Professor Sasieni's work has already led to improvements in cancer screening. His group has helped estimate the number of cancers prevented by the cervical screening programme. And their work has made the programme more efficient by showing that the age range of women screened could be reduced, which allowed the interval between screenings to be shortened without increasing costs.
Bowel cancer screening
Another area of interest for Professor Sasieni's team is bowel screening. They have shown that a screening technique called colonoscopy could greatly reduce the number of bowel cancers in people with a strong family history of the disease. And these people can be screened much less frequently than previously thought.
Ovarian cancer - early diagnosis
Professor Sasieni is co-ordinating a study to find out if referring women for tests as soon as they report common symptoms, such as abdominal discomfort, would help diagnose more cases of ovarian cancer earlier. Currently, the disease is often detected at a late stage, when treatment is more difficult.
Cancer prevention trials unit
This new unit is helping to run cancer prevention studies such as IBIS-II, CRISP-I and POET (Prevention Of Endometrial Tumours). It is hoped that the unit will help with the design and administration of many more such trials on coming years.