A study looking at tissue and body fluid samples to help improve diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer

Cancer type:

Cervical cancer
Ovarian cancer
Vaginal cancer
Vulval cancer
Womb (uterine or endometrial) cancer





This study is looking at substances called metabolites that may one day help doctors diagnose, monitor and treat ovarian cancer more easily. 

More about this trial

Doctors want to be able to find ovarian cancer earlier, and improve its treatment. They want to try and work out in advance how well a given treatment will work for each person.

This study is looking at a technique called metabonomics, which may be able to help with this. Metabonomics looks at the substances used or produced by any set of chemical reactions in the body. The substances produced are called ‘metabolites’.

Researchers will study tissue and body fluid samples of women with and without ovarian cancer. They will look at the outline of metabolites they produce (their ‘metabolic profile’). They will find metabolites linked to borderline cancers Open a glossary item, non cancerous (benign) growths and invasive cancer Open a glossary item of the ovary.

They hope that in future they will be able to identify metabolite changes in people having tests or treatment for these cancers. As a result, they hope to be able to diagnose earlier, monitor the disease and work out if it is likely to come back, or not respond well to a particular treatment.

You will not have any direct benefit from taking part in this study, and it is unlikely to change your treatment plan in any way. But the results of the study will be used to help people with cancer in the future.

Who can enter

You can enter this study if you have or your doctor thinks you might have one of the following

You cannot enter this study if you have had chemotherapy before.

Trial design

This study will recruit 1,000 people. Everyone taking part will give permission for the research team to study blood, body fluid and tissue samples. The number and type of samples they take depends on your situation.

If you are waiting for surgery to look into a condition affecting your ovaries you will give

  • Permission for the study team to use some of the tissue removed during your surgery
  • An extra blood sample (between 4 to 8 teaspoons)
  • A urine sample

If you have cancer of the ovary, you will give

  • Permission for the study team to use some of the tissue removed during any surgery you have had, or may have
  • Extra blood samples (between 4 to 8 teaspoons), and a urine sample before each cycle of chemotherapy and if your cancer comes back
  • A sample of any fluid that builds up in your abdomen (ascites)

Everyone will also give the team permission to use information from your medical notes that may help with this study. The team will keep your personal details confidential Open a glossary item, and no one will be able to link the results to you.

Hospital visits

As you will give your study samples when you are at the hospital for your planned tests or treatment, you do not have to make extra visits to take part in this study.

Side effects

As there are no treatments for this study, there are no side effects. You may have a small 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

Professor Hani Gabra

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Imperial College London
Ovarian Cancer Action

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


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:

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