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 looking at carboplatin, paclitaxel and gemcitabine for ovarian or primary peritoneal cancer (SCOTROC 5)
This trial looked at gemcitabine as well as paclitaxel and carboplatin for ovarian cancer and primary peritoneal cancer.
Doctors usually treat ovarian cancer and primary peritoneal cancer with surgery followed by chemotherapy. The chemotherapy drugs they most commonly use are carboplatin and paclitaxel (Taxol). But they are always looking for ways to improve treatment.
Doctors thought that adding another chemotherapy drug called gemcitabine may have been useful. But having all 3 drugs together may have caused too many side effects. So in this trial they were looking at carboplatin on its own followed by paclitaxel and gemcitabine together.
The aims of this trial were to find out
- How many women were able to complete the full treatment
- The side effects of these drugs when given in this way
- How well this combination of treatment worked for ovarian and primary peritoneal cancer
- How this treatment affected quality of life
Summary of results
The trial team found that the majority of women were able to complete the full treatment.
Everyone had 4 cycles of treatment with carboplatin followed by 4 cycles of paclitaxel and gemcitabine.
Of the 54 women recruited, 40 completed all 8 cycles of treatment.
The most common side effects were
The researchers were able to look at how the cancer responded to treatment in 43 women. Of these 43, it had responded in 33 women.
This trial was the last in a group of trials looking at how often to give paclitaxel to treat ovarian and primary peritoneal cancer.
When the researchers looked at the results of all the trials they concluded that weekly treatment with paclitaxel is best.
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 (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Stanley Kaye
Eli Lilly and Company Limited
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
Scottish Gynaecological Cancer Trials Group