A study looking at genetic testing for ovarian cancer (SIGNPOsT)

Cancer type:

Ovarian cancer





Many factors can affect your risk of getting ovarian cancer and the treatment outcome. Changes in the genes Open a glossary item (mutations) are one of these factors. 

This study is open to women with:

More about this trial

Research has shown that if your cancer is caused by a genetic change there are some treatments that might work better for you. So knowing whether you have a genetic change could help doctors decide on the best treatment for you. 

Genetic testing for ovarian cancer is becoming available within the NHS.

But genetic testing can have an effect on the quality of life Open a glossary item and emotional (psychological) wellbeing of women.

In this study researchers want to find out more about:

  • what effect genetic counselling has on women’s emotional quality of life 
  • the gene changes women with ovarian cancer have
  • whether women with gene changes choose to have screening or treatment to prevent ovarian cancer
  • what are the costs of this new genetic testing strategy 

They also want to look into the factors that affect the risk of developing ovarian cancer. This includes looking at how gene changes and other factors that might affect:

  • the risk of getting it
  • treatment 
  • how well your treatment works (outcome) 

They will do this by collecting samples including cancer, blood and genetic information. 

 The study is open to women who:

  • have had genetic testing 
  • have been offered testing but refused
  • haven’t had testing

Who can enter

The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this study. Talk to your doctor or the study team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you. 

You may be able to join this study if you have one of the following cancers and are at least 18 years old. 

Trial design

The team need 1,000 women to join the study. 

The team want women who have had genetic testing and women who haven’t. Women who were offered the test but declined it can also take part. 

Women who declined genetic testing fill in a questionnaire about their reasons for declining.  

Women who had genetic testing 
You fill in a questionnaire that asks:

  • about your quality of life and emotional wellbeing
  • how you feel about the testing process

All women
Everyone fills in a questionnaire about:

  • their health
  • any history of cancer in their family

You fill in all your questionnaires at:

  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year 
  • then every year to 5 years

You might get the questionnaires through the post or they might be given to you at your clinic appointment. A stamped self addressed envelope for the questionnaires return will be included in those posted to you.  

Blood and tissue samples
Everyone gives a blood sample. 

The team will also ask everyone for a sample of cancer tissue. This can be from:

  • when you had a sample of tissue (biopsy) to diagnose your cancer
  • when you had surgery to remove your cancer
  • during your treatment or care

The team might do genetic testing on a sample of your tissue. The results of this might influence your treatment options. Your doctor will talk to you about this if this is the case. 

They will also use these samples to find out more about ovarian cancer. With your permission these samples will be stored to be used for future research into ovarian cancer.  

Hospital visits

There are no extra hospital visits if you take part. 

Side effects

The questionnaire for women who had genetic testing asks you to think about your feelings. This might make you feel sad or upset. Talk to a member of the study team, your doctor or nurse if you do. They can help you with further support.



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 Ranjit Manchanda

Supported by

Barts and the London Charity
Barts Cancer Institute
Queen Mary University of London
Barts Health NHS Trust
Barking Havering & Redbridge NHS Trust
North East Thames Regional Genetics Service
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Central Manchester for Genomic Medicine 

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer 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.”

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