Principal Researcher in Primary Care Cancer Research
MA, MB BChir, DCH, DRCOG, MSc, MD, FRCGP
Tel: 01223 762514
Background and Research Interests
Fiona Walter trained in medicine at the University of Cambridge and St Thomas’s Hospital, London. Vocational training in general practice was followed by GP partnerships in Henley-on-Thames and Newark-on-Trent, where she was awarded Fellowship by Assessment of the Royal College of GPs. Her academic career began after she moved to Cambridge and her MD thesis, ‘Family history of common chronic disease in primary care- the patient’s perspective’, was awarded the 2007 Ralph Noble prize. Since then she has established the Cancer Group in the Primary Care Unit.
Fiona’s portfolio of research is based in primary care, and focuses on the cancer continuum, including prevention, screening, early detection, diagnostic pathways, and follow-up care. Her research methods are wide ranging and currently include qualitative and mixed methods research, randomised controlled trials, cohort studies, and systematic reviews. Current projects are investigating skin, lung, colorectal, pancreatic, brain and oesophago-gastric cancer, and include the NIHR-funded MelaTools Programme (aiming to optimise early diagnosis of melanoma through GP and patient-centred approaches), the CRUK-funded ECASS trial (evaluating computerised clinical decision support for symptoms of upper GI cancer), the MRC-funded POSTCARD study (using mixed methods to understand the patient pathway to upper GI cancer diagnosis), and The Brain Tumour Charity-funded BRAcED study (an in-depth qualitative study of patients newly diagnosed with brain cancer).
She has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and collaborates with primary care researchers across the UK, Europe and Australia. Fiona chairs the Early Diagnosis sub-group of the NCRI’s Primary Care Clinical Studies Group (CSG) and is also a member of the NCRI’s Skin Cancer, and Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis groups. She is Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne and the University of Western Australia.
Selected Key Publications
Usher-Smith JA, Emery J, Hamilton W, Griffin S, Walter FM. Risk prediction tools for cancer in primary care. Br J Cancer. 2015;113(12):1645-50.
Walter FM, Rubin G, Bankhead C, Morris HC, Hall N, Mills K, et al. First symptoms and other factors associated with time to presentation and diagnosis and stage at diagnosis of lung cancer: a prospective cohort study. Brit J Cancer. 2015;112 Suppl:S6-S13.
Rubin G, Berendsen A, Crawford SM, … Walter FM et al. The expanding role of primary care in cancer control. Lancet Oncol. 2015 Sep;16(12):1231-72.
Walter FM, Birt L, Cavers D, Scott S, Emery J, Burrows N, et al. ‘This isn’t what mine looked like’: a qualitative study of symptom appraisal and help seeking in people recently diagnosed with melanoma. BMJ Open. 2014;4(7):e005566.
Banks J, Hollinghurst S, Bigwood L, Peters TJ, Walter FM, Hamilton W. Preferences for cancer investigation: a vignette-based study of primary care attenders. Lancet Oncol. 2014;15(2):232-40. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70588-6.
Weller D, Vedsted P, Rubin G, Walter FM, Emery J, Scott S, et al. The Aarhus statement: improving design and reporting of studies on early cancer diagnosis. Br J Cancer 2012;106(7):1262-7.