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Rona-story

Rona's story

"I would absolutely recommend women to take part in trials if they feel it is right for them. Certainly I was very keen to take part in it because I want to try and increase the different drugs that are available for use with ovarian cancer."

There is an urgent need for new treatments to improve survival. Without clinical trials, medical research cannot progress. Find out how we’re campaigning for better access to clinical trials.

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.

In addition, there is unequal access to clinical trials, dependent on an individual's postcode, and only 30 per cent of women are informed about clinical trials by their clinician 3.

Yet research has shown that participation in a clinical trial improves long-term survival, whether part of the control arm or the active research 4, and that those hospitals which undertake medical research provide better treatment 5.What needs to change?

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

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

Visit the Clinical Trials Information Centre

References
  1. National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN) 2011-12 and 2012-13 data
  2. Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Strategy for UK Life Sciences
  3. Target Ovarian Cancer Pathfinder Study 2012. Ipsos Mori. 15 Jan 2014, page 57. 
  4. 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)
  5. 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

Read related news

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Monday 29 June 2009
New UK-wide research in the Target Ovarian Cancer Pathfinder study, just published at the House of Commons, reveals widespread confusion among GPs and women generally about ovarian cancer. Some women's diagnosis is taking far too long. A survey of 400 UK GPs, 1000 women in the general public and...
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Tuesday 26 May 2009
Target Ovarian Cancer Pathfinder Study Advisory Panel Member Dr James Brenton is a co-author of a new study which seeks to identify a way of determining which chemotherapy drugs will be most effective for individual women with ovarian cancer. A pattern of genetic defects in tumours could indicate...
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Tuesday 7 April 2009
The Guardian has published details of an early small scale trial for a new treatment for ovarian cancer. If larger trials are as successful it has the potential to become a new treatment for this disease. The trial of the drug codenamed CNTO328 was carried out the Centre for Experimental Medicine,...
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Wednesday 11 March 2009
The preliminary results of the major UK trial into screening women for ovarian cancer in the general population have been published today, with encouraging signs that more cancers are being detected at an earlier, and hopefully more treatable stage. Annwen Jones, Chief Executive of Target Ovarian...

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