Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial comparing surgery before and during chemotherapy for ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer (CHORUS)
This trial was for women with ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, and primary peritoneal cancer that had spread. This trial looked at whether giving some chemotherapy before as well as after surgery, was as good as giving all the chemotherapy after surgery. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
More about this trial
But sometimes they are not able to remove all the cancer during surgery.
Doctors thought that if patients had some chemotherapy before surgery this might shrink the cancer (patients then had the rest of the chemotherapy after the operation). Hopefully this would mean that the doctors would be able to remove more of the cancer during the operation. But they were not sure how well this would work.
In this trial you either had surgery, followed by chemotherapy. Or you had some chemotherapy first (
Summary of results
The trial team found that having some chemotherapy before surgery worked just as well as having surgery then chemotherapy.
This was a phase 3 trial. It was a randomised trial that recruited 550 women with advanced ovarian cancer. They were put into 1 of 2 groups by a computer and neither they nor their doctor could choose the group they were in.
- 276 women had surgery before having chemotherapy
- 274 women had some chemotherapy before having surgery, with some more chemotherapy after surgery
They looked at the average overall length of time the women lived. For those women who had surgery first it was just over 22½ months. For those women who had chemotherapy first it was just over 24 months.
When the researchers looked at how long the women were in hospital after surgery they found that more women who had chemotherapy before surgery had left hospital within 2 weeks of their surgery than those who had surgery before having chemotherapy.
The researchers looked at the
The trial team concluded that having some chemotherapy before surgery worked just as well as having surgery first for women with advanced ovarian cancer.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Sean Kehoe
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/07/009.