Cancer Epidemiology Unit

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Key, Tim

Deputy Unit Director, Professor of Epidemiology

Timothy has studied veterinary medicine, nutrition and epidemiology. His main interests are the roles of diet and sex hormones in the aetiology of cancer, particularly cancers of the breast, prostate and colon. Recent papers have shown that breast cancer risk is strongly related to the serum concentration of oestradiol, that vegetarian diets do not reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer but may reduce the risk of cancers of the stomach, bladder and blood, and that diets containing only plant proteins may reduce insulin-like growth factor-I, a growth factor that appears to be important in the development of several types of cancer. Timothy Key works mostly on the EPIC European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, as the principal investigator of the Oxford cohort of 65,000 participants and the chairman of the EPIC prostate cancer group. He is also co-principal investigator of the Endogenous Hormones and Breast Cancer Collaborative Group and the Endogenous Hormones and Prostate Cancer Collaborative Group, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. He joined the Unit in 1985.