A study looking at blood vessel cells in the bloodstreams of women having chemotherapy for ovarian, primary peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Ovarian cancer





This study is looking at cells that have broken away from blood vessels Open a glossary item as a possible way of monitoring disease and treatment in ovarian cancer, primary peritoneal cancer or fallopian tube cancer.

Cancers need a blood supply to help them grow and survive. So growing cancers encourage the growth of new blood vessels. This is called angiogenesis. New drugs (anti angiogenics) are being developed that will block this process. But they don’t work for everyone. At the moment the only way doctors can tell if these drugs are working is by looking at a CT scan after you’ve had treatment. They need to develop other tests that show if anti angiogenics are working earlier than this.

A way to do this may be by looking at damaged blood vessel lining cells that are released into the bloodstream. These lining cells are called endothelial cells, so those in the bloodstream are called circulating endothelial cells (CECs). Researchers have found that increased numbers of CECs in people with cancer may be a sign (biomarker) that new blood vessels are being formed. If the number of CECs drops during treatment, it could show that anti angiogenic treatment is working.   

Firstly, researchers would like to measure this when people are having a chemotherapy called paclitaxel. We know that paclitaxel blocks blood vessel growth. They will look at the effect of paclitaxel chemotherapy on the number of CECs. If they can see that paclitaxel reduces the number of CECs, this may also be a way of measuring how well other anti angiogenic drugs are working in future. They will also look for other related biomarkers Open a glossary item in these blood samples, and see how all these link to how well the treatment works. In the future this may help doctors work out in advance who would be suitable to have the new blood vessel growth blockers.

Who can enter

You can enter this study if you

You cannot enter this study if you

  • Have a condition that makes it difficult for you to give blood, for example clotting problems or difficult veins
  • Have hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV
  • Are having, or have just finished treatment with heparin (a blood thinning injection)
  • Have a disease affecting your connective tissue, for example lupus or rheumatoid arthritis Open a glossary item
  • Have problems with inflamed blood vessels
  • Have sickle cell disease

Trial design

This study will recruit 30 women into 2 groups. The group you are in depends on the chemotherapy you are having. Some women have paclitaxel every 3 weeks, some have it weekly. These groups simply help separate the results for the researchers. Everyone will give 3 blood samples (up to 2 tablespoons each sample) during the study. These will be

  • In the week before you start chemotherapy (2 samples)
  • In week 6 of your chemotherapy

When joining the trial, you give permission for the team to store these blood samples to use both now and in future research. You also give the study team permission to collect information from your medical notes including about your cancer, treatment and test results.  

The team will regularly check your medical notes to see how you are getting on, for up to 3 years after you finish the study.

Throughout the study you stay under the care of your usual cancer specialist.

Hospital visits

The team will try to arrange for you to give your blood samples when you are already at the hospital for your chemotherapy. So you should not have to make any extra visits to take part in this study.

Side effects

As there are no treatments as part of this study, there are no side effects. You may have a small bruise where you gave your blood samples.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Gordon Jayson

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 5928

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

No votes yet
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page