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Taking action together since 2005

20 September 2022

Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre

For 17 years your support has helped us lead the way in changing the landscape for women with ovarian cancer - thank you

In 2005, women with ovarian cancer had no voice – the disease was considered a ‘silent killer’. Women had no guidelines to identify symptoms and there was little to no scientific research to spark hope that survival rates could improve. That’s why Ovarian Cancer Action was formed; to give women a much-needed platform for their voices to be heard, and to fund lifesaving awareness work and research projects.

In 2006 you helped us establish the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre and since then your support has allowed us to make ground-breaking strides forwards that mean more women are surviving ovarian cancer than ever before. There is still a long way to go but we know with your help we can make the urgent changes that are so desperately needed in order for every woman to have the best possible chance of survival.

The biggest breakthroughs

  • 2006 The Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre (OCARC) is established at Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital. This ground-breaking centre dedicated to ovarian cancer research is the first of its kind in Europe.
  • 2012 We successfully campaign for the Department of Health to officially recognise bloating, stomach pain, weeing more often and changes in bowel habits as the four main symptoms of ovarian cancer, helping more women be diagnosed at an earlier stage.
  • 2012 Our BriTROC project is launched. It is the first ever UK-wide collaboration on ovarian cancer research, ensuring patients can benefit from clinical trials for treatments no matter where they live. It goes on to inform new research into personalised, more effective treatments so every woman gets the best possible care.
  • 2014 Chemotherapy is a long, draining process but our researchers at the Centre make a ground-breaking discovery on drugs that help it to work even better. This means women don’t have to go through the pain of chemotherapy as often due to more effective treatment.
  • 2014 Our ‘Hereditary cancer risk tool’ is launched, allowing members of the public to calculate their risk of carrying genetic mutations like BRCA that increase their chances of developing ovarian and other cancers. 15% of ovarian cancers are linked to these genetic mutations meaning over 1,000 people a year in the UK who are armed with life saving knowledge that allows them to take action and reduce their risk.
  • 2019-2021 Previously a ‘one size fits all’ approach was used when treating ovarian cancer, but our scientists establish that there are several types of the disease that all need treating differently. In response we help make sure personalised treatments, Niraparib and Olaparib, that slow down the progression of ovarian cancer become widely available, allowing women to feel better and live healthier lives for longer. 
  • 2022 We launch IMPROVE UK to address the shocking national inequalities in ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment. The project is the first of its kind and is designed to significantly improve survival rates by ensuring that no matter where a woman lives in the UK, or her ethnicity, she can get the ovarian cancer diagnosis, treatment and care she needs. 

It is now ten years on, but I am aware that the treatments are running out for me. Through working with OCA, I’ve come to understand that some of the treatments that have helped me are only available today because of their investment in research many years ago.

Florence was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2010 and told she had between 12 to 18 months to live.

The future

In 2022, the odds are still against women surviving ovarian cancer. We desperately need to make faster progress for every women diagnosed now, and in the future, to give women the best chance of survival.

We'll tackle this by increasing and focusing our investment on scientific research in the UK, using our landmark Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre as a beacon to attract the best talent and attack the biggest priorities in treatment and diagnosis to ensure UK patients benefit first.

This is only possible with your help. Women don't just deserve better, they deserve the best - the best diagnosis, the best treatment, the best chance to live.

Help us bring the future forward