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Development of risk prediction model to raise awareness and aid Breast Cancer Screening In Thailand and SE Asia.

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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

About the Project

Asia , where epithelial cancers are an emerging and important disease but wide scale population based screening programs cannot yet be justified fully, approaches to rationing entry into screening investigation programs needs to be implemented selectively. One such approach therefore is to employ a risk based approach based on easily available markers of increased risk. In particular questionnaire based “epidemiological” risk calculators or nomograms offer an inexpensive first screen for determining individuals who should be referred for more in depth clinical assessment using for example for breast cancer mammography (Gail et al, 1989).

To develop accurate epidemiological risk calculators requires access to a large and reliable dataset determined ideally from population that represent the individuals at risk and who might ultimately join the screening assessments. For Thailand, in close collaboration with the Thai Ministry of Public Health we have uniquely collected once such dataset over the past 10 years in the form of the Thai breast cancer case control study. Our study also has genotyping data for each participants. Analysis of such data is crucial to identify a number of individual factors that identify women at increased risk of breast cancer. By optimally combining such factors together into a “risk calculator” can potentially be then employed easily to help identify the most appropriate women for referral to the limited number of mammographic centres across Thailand.

We therefore require a PhD student to analyse this large dataset and to construct breast cancer risk calculator for Thai population and to consider how best to apply such a calculator to a screening program in Thailand and SE Asia.

Entry Requirements

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject. Candidates with experience in cancer research, statistical approaches are encouraged to apply.

How To Apply

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the appropriate subject title.

For international students, we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website”

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 2 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website (View Website).


1. Al-Ajmi, K., A. Lophatananon, M. Yuille, W. Ollier and K. R. Muir (2018). "Review of non-clinical risk models to aid prevention of breast cancer." Cancer Causes & Control 29(10): 967-986.
2. Al Ajmi, K., A. Lophatananon, K. Mekli, W. Ollier and K. R. Muir (2020). "Association of Nongenetic Factors With Breast Cancer Risk in Genetically Predisposed Groups of Women in the UK Biobank Cohort." JAMA Network Open 3(4): e203760-e203760.
3. Michailidou K, Lindström S, Dennis J, …Lophatananon A,…, Muir K, …, Simard J, Kraft P, Easton DF. Association analysis identifies 65 new breast cancer risk loci. Nature. 2017 Nov 2;551(7678):92-94. doi: 10.1038/nature24284. Epub 2017 Oct 23. PMID: 29059683; PMCID: PMC5798588.
4. Han MR, Zheng W, Cai Q, Gao YT, Zheng Y, Bolla MK, Michailidou K, Dennis J, Wang Q, Dunning AM, Brennan P, Chen ST, Choi JY, Hartman M, Ito H, Lophatananon A, Matsuo K, Miao H, Muir K, Sangrajrang S, Shen CY, Teo SH, Tseng CC, Wu AH, Yip CH, Kang D, Xiang YB, Easton DF, Shu XO, Long J. Evaluating genetic variants associated with breast cancer risk in high and moderate-penetrance genes in Asians. Carcinogenesis. 2017 May 1;38(5):511-518. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgx010. PMID: 28419251; PMCID: PMC5963497.
5. Kar SP, Andrulis IL, Brenner H, Burgess S, Chang-Claude J, Considine D, Dörk T, Evans DGR, Gago-Domínguez M, Giles GG, Hartman M, Huo D, Kaaks R, Li J, Lophatananon A, Margolin S, Milne RL, Muir KR, Olsson H, Punie K, Radice P, Simard J, Tamimi RM, Van Nieuwenhuysen E, Wendt C, Zheng W, Pharoah PDP. The association between weight at birth and breast cancer risk revisited using Mendelian randomisation. Eur J Epidemiol. 2019 Jun;34(6):591-600. doi: 10.1007/s10654-019-00485-7. Epub 2019 Feb 8. PMID: 30737679; PMCID: PMC6497616.

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