A trial comparing different combinations of chemotherapy after surgery for women with ovarian cancer who have already had chemotherapy before surgery (PETROC/OV21)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Ovarian cancer




Phase 2

This trial is comparing 2 different types of chemotherapy for women who have already had chemotherapy followed by surgery for ovarian cancer. This trial is supported by Cancer Research UK.

Doctors usually treat ovarian cancer with surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible, followed by chemotherapy. If your cancer has spread outside the ovary then it can be difficult for the surgeon to remove the cancer. So you may also have chemotherapy before your surgery. Chemotherapy before surgery is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. It may shrink the cancer so that it is easier to remove. This is called interval debulking surgery. You then have more chemotherapy after the operation.

But doctors aren't sure which treatment is best to give after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery. They often give more chemotherapy that you have through a drip into a vein. We know from research that having some chemotherapy into the vein and some directly into the tummy (intra peritoneal chemotherapy), may be better at helping to stop the cancer from coming back.

In this trial, researchers are looking at giving different chemotherapy drugs in different ways after surgery.

The aim of the trial is to find out if chemotherapy into the tummy (abdomen) helps women with ovarian cancer who have already had chemotherapy before surgery.

Who can enter

You can enter this trial if you

You cannot enter this trial if you

  • Have had treatment for ovarian cancer other than 3 to 4 cycles of chemotherapy immediately before your surgery
  • Have any heart problems that are a cause for concern
  • Have a blockage in your bowel (bowel obstruction)
  • Have any serious illness that the trial doctors think could affect your taking part
  • Are already taking an experimental drug as part of another clinical trial
  • Have had any other cancer, apart from non melanoma skin cancer or carcinoma in situ of the cervix that was successfully treated at least 5 years ago

Trial design

This is a randomised trial. The people taking part are put into 2 treatment groups by computer. Neither you nor your doctor will be able to decide which group you are in.

People in both groups have treatment in 3 week periods called cycles of treatment, and you can have up to 3 cycles.

People in group 1 have paclitaxel and carboplatin, both through a drip into a vein on day 1 of each cycle of treatment. They have more paclitaxel into a vein on day 8 of each cycle.

People in group 2 have paclitaxel through a drip into a vein, and carboplatin through a tube into their abdomen, on day 1 of each cycle. They have paclitaxel into their abdomen on day 8.  Doctors call chemotherapy into the abdomen intra peritoneal chemotherapy.

You fill out a questionnaire

  • Before you start treatment
  • At the beginning of cycles 2 and 3
  • When your treatment finishes
  • 3, 6 and 12 months after the end of treatment
  • Then once a year until your cancer starts to grow again

The questionnaire will ask about any side effects you have had and about how you have been feeling. This is called a quality of life study.

If you agree to take part in this study, the researchers will ask for a sample of tissue taken when you had surgery to remove your cancer. They will use this sample to learn more about ovarian cancer and how to treat it. If you do not want to give tissue samples for this study, you don’t have to. You can still take part in the trial.

Hospital visits

You will see the doctors and have some tests before you start treatment. The tests include

On the first day of each treatment cycle you will have a physical examination, and you will have blood tests before each treatment.

You will have a CT scan when you finish treatment and then every 6 months for 2 years, and once a year after that. You will also have a CA125 blood test before each cycle, 6 weeks after you finish treatment, and then every 3 months for 2 years and yearly after that.

Side effects

The most common side effects of carboplatin include

The most common side effects of paclitaxel include

  • A drop in blood cells causing an increased risk of infection, bleeding problems, tiredness and breathlessness
  • Numbness and tingling in hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)
  • Aching joints (arthralgia) and muscles (myalgia) it may start a couple of days after treatment and last for about 5 days
  • Tiredness (fatigue)
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Hair loss

The most common side effects of intraperitoneal chemotherapy are

  • Pain in your tummy (abdomen)
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Diarrhoea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling cold
  • The tube into your abdomen (catheter) can get blocked
  • Abdominal infection

We have more information on carboplatin, paclitaxel (Taxol) and intra peritoneal chemotherapy.

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 Chris Gallagher

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/09/015.

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 3871

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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