MedSciNet has built the database for the ROCkeTS (Refining Ovarian Cancer Test Accuracy Scores) study, which will be carried out at the University of Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit. The aim of the study is to improve diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer patients, by developing new testing algorithms.
Ovarian cancer (OC) causes 4400 deaths annually in the UK. OC is predominantly a disease of older, post-menopausal women, however 1000 women under 50 are diagnosed annually. Treatment is highly dependant on early detection, as the 5-year survival is high (90 %) in these cases, compared to 46 % overall. However, diagnosis is complicated by the fact that early symptoms usually are non-specific, such as persistent abdominal distension/‘bloating’, feeling full and/or loss of appetite, pelvic/abdominal pain, increased urinary urgency and/or frequency, unexplained weight loss, fatigue or changes in bowel habit.
While guidelines are available from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), their use varies and a recent clinic audit showed that the majority of referrals (90%) for suspected OC do not follow guidance. The great difference in prognosis between early and late stage OC calls for improved early detection, to reduce mortality as well as unnecessary referrals to secondary care.
The ROCkeTS study is headed by Dr Sudha Sundar and aims to develop new risk prediction models and diagnostic pathways, both of which are poorly defined at present. Clinical risk scores that estimate the probability of having OC in women with symptoms will be derived and validated. These models will then form the basis for improved patient management.
Read more about the ROCkeTS study here.