A study looking at paclitaxel and saracatinib for ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer that has come back (SaPPrOC)

Cancer type:

Ovarian cancer




Phase 2

This trial looked at 2 drugs called saracatinib (pronounced sah-rah-cat-in-ib) and paclitaxel (pronounced pak-lit-axe-el) for ovarian cancer. It was for women whose ovarian cancer had come back despite having treatment with a platinum drug. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.

The trial was for women with

These cancers are all treated in the same way, so when we use the term ovarian cancer in this summary, we are referring to all 3.

Doctors usually treat ovarian cancer with surgery and chemotherapy. The chemotherapy drugs most commonly used are platinum drugs Open a glossary item such as carboplatin. If the cancer gets worse or comes back within 6 months of finishing this type of treatment, it can be difficult to treat. So doctors are looking at new combinations of drugs to help this group of women.

In this trial, doctors looked at a drug called saracatinib alongside a chemotherapy drug called paclitaxel (Taxol). Saracatinib is a type of biological therapy. Paclitaxel is a standard chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer when platinum dugs have stopped working.

The aims of this trial were to find out

  • If paclitaxel alongside saracatinib can control the cancer for longer
  • If the period of time since the women had last had paclitaxel affects how well the treatment works
  • More about the side effects

Summary of results

The researchers found that the combination of saracatinib and weekly paclitaxel did not help women with ovarian cancer that had come back despite having treatment with a platinum drug Open a glossary item.

107 women took part in this trial. Of those,

  • 71 had paclitaxel once a week and saracatinib tablets
  • 36 had paclitaxel once a week and dummy tablets (placebo)

Women in both groups started to take saracatinib or dummy tablets one week before starting the paclitaxel. They continued to take the tablets daily as long as the treatment was helping them.

6  months after treatment started the researchers looked to see

  • How well the treatment was working
  • Whose cancer had started to grow again

They found no difference between the 2 groups in either of these.

Side effects in the saracatinib group were more common and included tummy (abdominal) pain. Saracatinib also caused some more serious side effects including a drop in white blood cells causing an increased risk of infection.

The trial team concluded that saracatinib did not help paclitaxel to work better for this group of women. They also concluded that weekly paclitaxel works better when there has been a break of at least 6 months since previous treatment with paclitaxel.

We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

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 Iain McNeish

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University College London (UCL)

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/10/007.

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 5129

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

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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