A core team of researchers work in collaboration with Dr Claire Robertson, studying diet (particularly phytoestrogen intake), complementary medicine use, lifestyle factors and their effect on breast cancer recurrence. 

The work includes co-ordination and management of the multi-centre DietCompLyf study.

The study is based on several factors:

  • Marked geographic variation in incidence of breast cancer
  • Soy (Phytoestrogen) consumption may influence certain geographic variations.
  • It has been suggested that psychological attitude may influence survival (Watson & Greer).
  • There have been few studies relating diet and survival in breast cancer.

The DietCompLyf is a prospective (longitudinal) observational study supported by the NCRN and has now closed recruitment. It includes 3,000+ breast cancer patients from 56 centres across the UK, participating one year post-diagnosis and on active follow-up for 5 years following diagnosis.

As part of the DietCompLyf Study the following samples are collected:

  • year post-diagnosis (PD): urine, serum, plasma and buffy coats
  • 2-5 years PD: urine and serum.

Phytoestrogens are measured by HFL using a combination of HPLC and MS-MS.

The DietCompLyf study is a collaboration between a number of different centres including:

  • Dr Susan Dutton, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford
  • Dr Jayne Woodside, Nutrition and Metabolism Group, Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University, Belfast
  • The MRC Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology in Cancer Prevention and Survival (CNC), Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge. The MRC Centre runs the UK arm of the European Prevention In Cancer (EPIC) study and have provided the software to enter food diary data and assist in the analysis of the data.

Breast Cancer Research Uni videos