BriTROC – studying why ovarian cancer keeps coming back

The British Translational Research Ovarian Cancer Collaborative (BriTROC) is a pioneering study into why ovarian cancer keeps coming back.

Of Ovarian Cancer Action's total charitable spend, 22% goes towards funding BriTROC.

Why is it needed?

Currently one of the most effective treatments for ovarian cancer is platinum-based chemotherapy, but 70% of women treated with this therapy develop resistance to it, and their cancer comes back.

We desperately need to understand why ovarian cancer recurs in so many patients and why the treatments stop working.

Without this understanding women will continue to suffer unnecessarily and ovarian cancer will remain the UK's most deadly gynaecological disease.

We are eager for as many women as possible to participate and contribute to this vital research. In order for BriTROC to work, we need your help.

How does it work?

BriTROC is a national ovarian cancer tissue and biospecimen bank.

The BriTROC study uses two biopsy tumour samples from women, one taken at diagnosis and one when the cancer next comes back, in the hope to understand what genetic changes have happened to make the cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy.

Understanding these changes could help researchers make treatment more effective in the future so that once ovarian cancer is treated, it doesn’t come back.  

How can I get involved? 

There are 15 BriTROC centres across the UK.

The success of the BriTROC project lies in patients’ willingness to participate.

You are eligible to take part in the study if you have relapsed ovarian cancer and a tissue sample from your original tumour biopsy still exists.

If you would like to participate in the BriTROC study or you’d like more information you can email

What will I need to do?

Patients who participate in the BriTROC study will have a biopsy where a small piece of tissue is removed from their recurrent tumour.

The tissue is removed under local anaesthetic using a biopsy needle that is guided by a CT scanner or ultrasound machine.

The procedure is quick and patients do not need to stay overnight in hospital.

Patients will also be asked to have blood tests and sometimes a fluid sample too.

What are the benefits of taking part?

If you do decide to participate in the BriTROC study you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that the data you contribute will be used to help future women benefit from the best treatment options possible.

The study also involves screening tumour biopsies for BRCA1/2 gene mutations.

If you do not know whether you carry the BRCA1/2 gene mutation, taking part in this study would enable you to find out.