In her current position as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School, Sarah is involved in several studies investigating the use of primary care blood tests in detecting cancer, the impact of multi-morbidity on cancer diagnosis, and evaluating the effectiveness of faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) for colorectal cancer in the low risk symptomatic population in the South West of England.
Sarah joined the CanTest team in September 2017. She has a multidisciplinary background, having studied Biomedical Science and Public Health at Cardiff University. Her first experience of research was undertaking her master’s dissertation project, which involved using longitudinal observational data from the Caerphilly Prospective Study to examine the relationship between oily fish consumption and cognitive decline. This sparked her interest in the potential of observational data and quantitative methods, and led her to pursue a career in health research.
Before moving to the cancer diagnostics field in 2014, Sarah worked in Child Health research at the University of Exeter, and Dental Education at Cardiff University. Upon moving to the Discovery Group led by Prof. Willie Hamilton in 2014, she began her PhD on the association between thrombocytosis (raised platelet count) and cancer diagnosis, which was completed in Autumn 2016. Specifically, her PhD found that thrombocytosis is an important risk marker of undiagnosed cancer in primary care, particularly in men aged over 40 years. This work has had a significant impact on clinical practice since its publication in 2017, and was the top-rated paper of the British Journal of General Practice in that year. This is one of her personal highlights from her career to date, alongside being interviewed for Radio 4’s Inside Health programme, learning to drive a tractor, and swimming an entire length of the university’s swimming pool underwater.
Follow Sarah on Twitter @sSarahBailey
+44 (0)1392 726445
University of Exeter, UK
- International comparison of FIT use across the globe in primary care symptomatic patients: A narrative view
- Establishing the diagnostic accuracy of haemoglobin in faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) and establishing a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for FITs in the English primary care symptomatic population: A cohort study in the South West of England
- Establishing the diagnostic accuracy, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of haemoglobin in faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) in the English primary care symptomatic population: a cohort study in the East of England
- Are patients with high normal platelet counts at increased risk of cancer?
- Achieving earlier cancer diagnosis in primary care using routine blood test results: a study using US healthcare claims data
- Exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying pre-diagnostic thrombocytosis in lung cancer patients and evaluating its diagnostic value (PhD)
- Investigating the impact of changes in the NHS in response to the COVID-19 crisis on cancer diagnosis in the South West of England
- A review of clinical guidelines on the diagnosis of cancer in older adults
- SPOtting Cancer among Comorbidities (SPOCC) programme: Supporting clinical decision making in patients with symptoms of cancer and pre-existing conditions
- Evaluating ethnic differences in blood markers of cancer in primary care
- Watson J, Mounce L, Bailey SER, Cooper SL, Hamilton W. Blood markers for cancer. British Medical Journal, 2019, 367:l5774, doi: 10.1136/bmj.l5774
- van Melle M, Yep Manzano S, Wilson H, Hamilton W, Walter FM, Bailey SER. Faecal immunochemical test to triage patients with abdominal symptoms for suspected colorectal cancer in primary care: review of international use and guidelines. Family Practice, 2020. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmaa043
- Hopkins R, Bailey SER, Hamilton WT, Shephard EA. Microcytosis as a risk marker of cancer in primary care: a cohort study using electronic patient records. British Journal of General Practice, 2020; 70 (696): e457-e462. doi: 10.3399/bjgp20X709577
- Mounce LTA, Hamilton W, Bailey SER. Cancer incidence following a high-normal platelet count: cohort study using electronic healthcare records from English primary care. British Journal of General Practice, 2020, doi: 10.3399/bjgp20X710957
- Clarke C, Hamilton W, Price S, Bailey SER. Association of non-malignant diseases with thrombocytosis: a prospective cohort study in general practice. British Journal of General Practice, 2020, 70(701): e852-e857, doi: 10.3399/bjgp20X713501
- Bailey SER, Abel GA, Atkins A, Byford R, Davies S-J, Mays J, McDonald TJ, Miller J, Neck C, Rennison J, Thomas P, Walter FM, Warren S, Hamilton W. Diagnostic performance of a faecal immunochemical test for patients with low-risk symptoms of colorectal cancer in primary care: an evaluation in the South West of England. British Journal of Cancer, 2021, doi: 10.1038/s41416-020-01221-9
- Barlow M, Hamilton W, Ukoumunne O, Bailey S. (2021). The association between thrombocytosis and subtype of lung cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Translational Cancer Research, 10(3), 1249-1260. doi: 10.21037/tcr-20-3287
- Green HD, Merriel SWD, Oram RA, Ruth KS, Tyrrell J, Jones SE, Thirlwell C, Weedon MN, Bailey SER. Applying a genetic risk score for prostate cancer to men with lower urinary tract symptoms in primary care to predict prostate cancer diagnosis: a cohort study in the UK Biobank. Br J Cancer 127, 1534–1539 (2022). doi: 10.1038/s41416-022-01918-z
- Barlow M, Down L, Mounce LTA, Merriel SWD, Watson J, Martins T, Bailey SER. Ethnic differences in prostate-specific antigen levels in men without prostate cancer: a systematic review. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2022 Dec 1. doi: 10.1038/s41391-022-00613-7