A trial comparing chemotherapy before and after surgery for women with advanced ovarian cancer (EORTC 55971)

Cancer type:

Ovarian cancer




Phase 3

This trial compared chemotherapy before surgery with chemotherapy after surgery for advanced ovarian, primary peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer.

Doctors usually treat ovarian cancer with surgery and chemotherapy. But when this trial was done, doctors were not sure whether it was better to have surgery or chemotherapy first.

This trial looked at two different ways of treating women with advanced ovarian cancer. One group had chemotherapy first, followed by an operation, then more chemotherapy. The other group had surgery first, followed by chemotherapy and if necessary more surgery.

The aim of this trial was to find out which order of treatment was better at stopping the cancer from coming back.

Summary of results

The trial team found that the women who had surgery first did no better than the women who had chemotherapy first.

718 women took part in this trial

  • Half had surgery and 6 cycles of platinum chemotherapy Open a glossary item
  • Half had 3 cycles of platinum chemotherapy followed by surgery and then 3 more cycles of platinum chemotherapy

The trial team analysed the results after monitoring the women in the trial for an average of just under 5 years. They looked at how long the women lived for after treatment. And how long before the cancer started to grow again. They found no difference between the 2 different groups.

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) but may not have been 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 Ignace Vergote

Supported by

European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)

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Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 355

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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