A study to see if cell changes can help doctors tell who will respond well to chemotherapy for ovarian cancer (DNA methylation study)

Cancer type:

Ovarian cancer





This study will look at cell changes in women having surgery for suspected ovarian cancer. The research team hope they will be able to find a pattern to help them predict who will respond well to chemotherapy and who won’t.

Doctors usually treat ovarian cancer with surgery, often followed by chemotherapy. But chemotherapy doesn’t always work, and sometimes the cancer starts to grow again (recurs). At the moment, we can’t predict who chemotherapy will work for, and who it won’t. But perhaps if we could tell in advance that chemotherapy wasn’t going to work very well for some women, the doctors could give them more (or different) treatment.

In this study, the research team will look for changes in the genetic material (DNA) in ovarian cancer cells. The specific change they are looking for is called “DNA methylation”. They hope that they will be able to see a link between DNA methylation patterns and those women who don’t respond well to chemotherapy.

The aim of this study is to see if we can tell in advance who will respond well to chemotherapy. And to help doctors in the future decide who should have standard chemotherapy, and who might benefit from different treatment.

Who can enter

You can enter this study if

  • Doctors think you may have stage 1C to stage 4 ovarian cancer (not everyone entering the study will have ovarian cancer)
  • You are due to have surgery to see if you have cancer or not

You cannot enter this study if you have already had surgery or other treatment for ovarian cancer.

Trial design

This study will recruit about 1350 women whose doctors think may have ovarian cancer. Everyone taking part will be due to have surgery soon.

When you have your operation, the doctors will remove some tissue to test in the laboratory as usual. As well as that, they will send a small piece of tissue to be stored for testing as part of this study.

If the tests show that you don’t have ovarian cancer, the research team will not use your tissue sample. You won’t play any further part in the study.

But if the tests show that you do have ovarian cancer, the research team will go on to test your tissue sample for DNA methylation. They think that this will be about 500 of the 1000 women taking part.

The research team will also collect information about

  • The stage and grade of your cancer
  • Any chemotherapy or other treatments you have and when you have them
  • How well the treatments work and how well you are
  • Blood tests, both before and during treatment

They will use all this information to look for patterns in results and links between DNA methylation and how well treatments work.

Hospital visits

You won’t have to make any extra trips to hospital as part of this study. The surgeons will take an extra sample of tissue when they do your operation.

Side effects

There are no side effects associated with this study.


Burton on Trent
Milton Keynes
Southend on Sea

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 Nadeem Siddiqui

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Scottish Gynaecological Cancer Trials Group

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.

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

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"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

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