Currently, fewer than 500 women with ovarian cancer annually enter a clinical trial aimed at finding new treatments 1. This is only seven per cent of the 7,000 women diagnosed each year, despite the Government's Life Sciences Strategy, which aims to "place clinical research at the heart of the NHS, and empower patients to participate in research" 2.
What needs to change?
- All women diagnosed with ovarian cancer must be informed about clinical trials.
- No presumptions must be made based on age, health or distance from a trial to not inform women about clinical trials; it is their choice.
- Women must feel empowered to ask their clinician or health professional about available clinical trials.
- Regional variation must end: All women, irrespective of their location, have an equal right to access trials across the whole of the UK.
- Quicker clinical trials must be set up to allow for more trials, more centres, more choice and more women in trials.
- More resources must be provided to support the clinical community to ensure there are more trials so more potential treatments can be tested.
Our campaign so far
- We have developed evidence about the need for clinical trials and access to clinical trials, through our extensive quantitative and qualitative surveys of women, researchers and clinicians in Pathfinder 2012 and Pathfinder 2009.
- In July 2013, we set up the Clinical Trials Information Centre which provides both women and their clinicians with easy, mobile-friendly access to all ovarian cancer trials. This online resource won ‘Best entry from a small charity’ at the prestigious Association of Medical Research Charities Science Communication Awards in March 2014.
- Our research funding programme is the only open national funding programme specifically for ovarian cancer research. Two of our four grants are innovative clinical studies which aim to recruit over 500 patients across the UK
- We collaborate with the Department of Health, National Cancer Research Network (NCRN) and the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) to understand the problem and instigate change.
Watch this video from our ambassador Rona Passmore, about her experience on a clinical trial:
Help us campaign
- Ask your clinician to tell you about clinical trials you may be eligible for.
- Use our Clinical Trials Information Centre to find trials either by location or keyword. Results can easily be emailed or printed out for your medical appointments
- Contact us if you are unsure or not satisfied with the information or answers you have received
- Ensure your health professionals have bookmarked our Clinical Trials Information Centre so next time they can provide help more quickly.
- Share your story with us - it is the stories from people who have experienced ovarian cancer first-hand that influence change, and that inspire women or family members in similar circumstances.
Stay up to date
- National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN) 2011-12 and 2012-13 data
- Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Strategy for UK Life Sciences
- Target Ovarian Cancer Pathfinder Study 2012. Ipsos Mori. 15 Jan 2014, page 57.
- Pattern of care and impact of participation in clinical studies on the outcome in ovarian cancer. Du Bois, A.; Rochon, J; Lamparter, ; Pfisterer, J. International Journal of Gynaecological Cancer 2005 (vol 15) pp. 183-191(9)
- Engagement in research: an innovative three-stage review of the benefits for health-care performance. Hanney, S; Boaz, A; Jones, T; Soper B. Health Services and Delivery Research 2013 (Vol1) Issue: 8