A study looking at genetic testing in ovarian cancer (GTEOC)

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 whether it would be acceptable and practical to test women for inherited gene changes after they have been diagnosed with common types of cancer of the ovary.

We know that some women develop cancer of the ovary because they have inherited Open a glossary item a gene change (mutation) from one of their parents. Genes are like instructions that tell our bodies how to work. Some genes are important in protecting us from developing cancer. But when a gene is changed in some way it is not able to work properly. So, someone with a change in one of these genes has a higher chance of developing certain types of cancer over their lifetime.

Women are usually only offered gene testing (genetic testing) if they have a strong family history of ovarian cancer, or breast cancer, or both. But this approach misses some women. In this study, researchers will look for inherited gene changes in the most common types of ovarian cancer. If everyone diagnosed with these types of ovarian cancer was screened for inherited gene changes, it could help the relatives of those who were found to have a gene change. This is because they may carry the same gene change and have a greater risk of ovarian and breast cancer, but not be aware of it.

The team will recruit women who have recently been diagnosed with cancer of the ovary, cancer of the fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer. Everyone will give a sample of blood or spit (saliva), so that the study team can test for inherited gene changes. The aim of this study is to see how acceptable and practical it is to offer genetic testing to women when they are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Who can enter

You may be able to enter this study if you live in the East Anglia area and you

You cannot enter this study if you would not be able to understand what it involves for any reason.

Trial design

This pilot study will recruit about 400 women. When you join the study the team will send you a consent form Open a glossary item and questionnaire to fill out and return to them in a pre paid envelope. The questionnaire will ask about any family history of cancer. You then take the yellow card that came with your questionnaire to your next blood test, and give a sample of blood for the study. If you cannot give a blood sample, you may be able to give a sample of spit (saliva) instead.

The team will test DNA in your sample for changes to genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2,  which are strongly related to ovarian and breast cancer. If they find an inherited change, they will arrange to see you at an NHS genetics clinic. There you will be able to discuss in more detail what this means for you.

If they don’t find any changes, they will write back to you and your doctors. They will then test your sample for changes to other genes that have been linked with ovarian cancer. If these next tests show a gene change, you will also have an appointment to discuss it at an NHS genetics clinic.

The team will ask if you would fill out some more short questionnaires. These will ask about how you felt about the genetic testing. They will also ask for your permission to check information from the NHS and the National Cancer Registration Service each year to see how you are getting on.

They may also ask if they can keep in touch with you to let you know about any future research they may be doing.

Hospital visits

You give your study blood sample at your next routine blood test. You may need to make an extra visit to hospital to discuss your blood or saliva test results.

Side effects

You may find out that you have an inherited change to one of your genes. This may mean that you have a higher risk of getting other cancers (especially breast cancer) than people without this inherited change. Or, the team may find a change that they do not fully understand at the moment. If either of these happen, they will talk to you about what they have found. The NHS genetics service will also fully support you and offer you information and advice.

You may have a bruise where you gave your blood sample.

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

Dr Marc Tischkowitz

Supported by

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Target Ovarian Cancer

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 10340

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

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

Last reviewed:

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