Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial looking at nitrocamptothecin (RFS 2000) for advanced ovarian cancer
This trial looked at a new chemotherapy drug called nitrocamptothecin (RFS 2000) in women with ovarian cancer that had spread (advanced ovarian cancer).
Doctors often treat advanced ovarian cancer with chemotherapy. But in time, the cancer will start to grow again. Doctors are looking for new treatments to help stop or slow down the growth of ovarian cancer.
Doctors hoped that nitrocamptothecin would help these women. The aims of the trial were to see if nitrocamptothecin
- Helped to control symptoms
- Improved quality of life for women with advanced ovarian cancer
Summary of results
The research team found that nitrocamptothecin might help some women with advanced ovarian cancer.
The research team recruited 51 women with advanced ovarian cancer that had come back after
When the researchers were analysing the results, they split the women into two groups depending on how quickly their cancer had come back after chemotherapy.
- In 23 women, the cancer had come back more than 12 months after platinum chemotherapy. The research team called this the ‘sensitive’ group
- In 28 women, the cancer had come back within 12 months of having platinum chemotherapy. The research team called this the ‘refractory’ group
In the sensitive group
- The cancer had got smaller in 4 women (a
- The cancer had stayed the same size in 13 women (
In the refractory group
- No women had cancer that got smaller
- The cancer stayed the same size in 10 women
The most common side effect was diarrhoea. Other side effects included a drop in the number of blood cells, feeling or being sick, and tiredness (fatigue).
The research team suggested that nitrocamptothecin might be helpful in women who have advanced ovarian cancer that is sensitive to platinum chemotherapy.
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
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Professor J Smyth
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)