Gynaecological Cancer

CTRT has enabled Mount Vernon Cancer Centre to enter a large proportion of patients with gynaecological cancers into many different clinical trials. Furthermore, generous donations have funded a research team at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre that consists of 10 to 12 people who work closely with Professor Marcia Hall, Dr Ignacio Vazquez and a specialist registrar. Together they care for these patients and collect important data so new treatments can be closely analysed and hopefully introduced into routine practice. This further invigorates the team to continue working with many other colleagues in gynaecological oncology across the UK to ensure all patients have access to our novel therapies for their gynaecological cancer.

RaNGO Project

CeNtuRION Trial

Around 18% of all cancers which develop in the female reproductive organs are considered very rare, accounting for 5-500 cases per rare cancer a year in the UK.

“We cannot be certain that we manage patients with these rare cancers quite as well as more common cancers because we only have anecdotal experiences to refer to, rather than large scale trials which are more accurate.” – Professor Marcia Hall

Entirely supported by CTRT, the RaNGO project (Rare Neoplasms of Gynaecological Origin) is run from Mount Vernon Cancer Centre and holds an anonymised national registry of patients with these very specific rare cancers, including how patients are currently treated and the outcomes.

“This registry will enable us to pool our experiences for treating patients with the same diagnosis, improving our knowledge base. This should help us develop better treatment options for these patients as well as help us to develop more accurate information sheets for patients affected by this condition and their families in the future.” – Professor Marcia Hall

RaNGO also facilitates the donation of tissue, obtained from any operations or biopsies, from these patients, for future scientific research. The UK gynaecological cancer community is very supportive of this initiative and already more than half of the cancer centres which treat these cancers have opened the RaNGO study to add their cases.

Many other countries have similar initiatives underway and ultimately we will use the RaNGO results to collaborate with international colleagues.

The next step for this project is to explore ways to be able to open clinical trials of novel treatments, in a timely manner for these small groups of patients.

Ovarian cancer patients with BRCA mutations or other complexities such as platinum-sensitive relapsed disease can benefit from a drug group called PARP inhibitors. These drugs selectively prevent their cancer cells from recovering from agents that damage their DNA.

The researchers funded by the CTRT have spent a lot of time looking after patients receiving PARP inhibitors such as olaparib, niraparib and rucaparib since the earliest trials opened.

“It is very exciting to see these drugs in routine practice.” – Professor Marcia Hall

Professor Hall is currently the chief investigator of the ongoing ‘CeNtuRIOn trial‘ which explores the value of combining a PARP inhibitor with doublet immunotherapy. This to see if more patients might benefit from the combination rather than rucaparib or immunotherapy alone.