Clinical: Adherence with Cancer Treatment in Adolescents and Young Adults

   Faculty of Medicine and Health

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Adherence with therapy is a significant clinical problem in young people, for many reasons. The scale of this has never been quantified in a population-based setting. This project will estimate adherence for our population, and develop methods for its measurement in future.

a) Literature scoping review year 1. Mo 0-6

b) Data linkage development between LTHT and Uni Leeds. Mo4 to Mo 28. The aim would be to link a dataset of all pharmacy dispensed medications (supportive care and others) for TYA in LTHT to their population-based cancer register record, and to seek an ethically approved dataset extraction from the LTHT PAS system of Out-patient appointments, cancellations and rearrangements. This would enhance our existing extensive data linkage in place. 

c) Construct a biostatistical model consisting of all available parameters and key missing parameters, to estimate adherence with care and treatment, using routinely available data and the approved register data. Mo 12-18. This would include dispensed supporting medications against protocol/expected, time intervals between doses of cancer treatment, attendance at out-patient appointments, rearrangement of outpatient appointments, intervals between in-patient stays and other parameters devised by the student from the literature.

d) Testing of patient self-report instruments that assess adherence with 2 patient groups in the clinical environment, under honorary NHS contract, using patient and public involvement techniques, in a set of user groups and an actual patient group attending the TYA clinics. Mo 15-30

e) Analysis of the dataset according to the model in c), and completion of thesis writing Mo-28-36

Techniques associated with this project:

Basis of PHD uni Leeds Mo 0-4 

Patient-facing research y1, Data governance yr 1, Data Linkage methods, Coding in SQL and Statistics methods

This project is part of the International PhD Academy: Medical Research


You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject.

Candidates whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Medicine and Health minimum requirements are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 7.0 overall, with no element less than 6.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 100 with the listening and reading element no less than 22, writing element no less than 23 and the speaking element no less than 24.

How to apply:

Applications can be made at any time. To apply for this project applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable)

To help us identify that you are applying for this project please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Medicine, Health and Human Disease as your programme of study
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert

Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to

Biological Sciences (4) Computer Science (8) Mathematics (25)

Funding Notes

This project is aimed at International applicants who are able to self fund their studies or who have a sponsor who will provide their funding.


Taylor RM, Fern LA, Barber J, Gibson F, Lea S, Patel N, Morris S, Alvarez-Galvez J, Feltbower R, Hooker L, Martins A, Stark D, Raine R, Whelan JS. 2021. Specialist cancer services for teenagers and young adults in England: BRIGHTLIGHT research programme. Programme Grants for Applied Research. 9(12)
Fern LA, Taylor RM, Barber J, Alvarez-Galvez J, Feltbower R, Lea S, Martins A, Morris S, Hooker L, Gibson F, Raine R, Stark DP, Whelan J. 2021. Processes of care and survival associated with treatment in specialist teenage and young adult cancer centres: results from the BRIGHTLIGHT cohort study. BMJ Open. 11(4)
Ferrari A, Stark D, Peccatori FA, Fern L, Laurence V, Gaspar N, Bozovic Spasojevic I, Smith O, De Munter J, Derwich K, Hjorth L, van der Graaf WTA, Soanes L, Jezdic S, Blondeel A, Bielack S, Douillard J-Y, Mountzios G, Saloustros E. 2021. Adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer: a position paper from the AYA Working Group of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE). ESMO Open. 6(2), pp. 100096-100096

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