SOCQER-2: Surgery in ovarian cancer

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    The SOCQER-2 study: Surgery in ovarian cancer - quality of life evaluation research



  • Contact name

    Sudha Sundar

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Research Support Group

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 0 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    Advanced stage ovarian cancer is treated by a combination of cytoreductive surgery and platinum chemotherapy. In contrast to other solid cancers, ovarian cancer is a ‘surface spreader’, where cancer deposits are present on the surface of intra-abdominal organs and is treated surgically even when cancer has spread to organs outside the ovary. ‘Cytoreductive surgery’ reduces cancer inside the abdomen. Patients who have minimal amounts of cancer remaining post-surgery and those who respond to chemotherapy show best survival. Standard surgery comprises removal of the uterus, tubes and ovaries and omentum (fatty apron of stomach). Using standard surgery, complete removal of tumour is possible only in 50% of advanced cancer. However, it has been shown that additional surgery, which removes cancer deposits on the liver/spleen/diaphragm (ultraradical) and bowel(radical), can remove all visible cancer and may significantly improve survival. One review showed that women who received ultraradical/radical surgery, rather than standard surgery, lived longer. Another review showed that women left with >2 cm of cancer post-surgery had 12 times risk of death, compared to women with no visible cancer. However, there is no randomised controlled trial comparing standard and radical/ultraradical surgery and the impact of extensive surgery on quality of life and survival is uncertain. This multicentre cohort study will address this challenging question.

    Currently, there is considerable variation within UK centres as to whether a patient with ovarian cancer receives the standard or radical/ultraradical surgery; the choice of surgical approach is based on the surgeon’s beliefs rather than robust trial evidence or patient participation in informed decision-making. We need further data from multiple centres to establish what side effects and quality of life patients undergoing standard/radical/ultraradical surgery experience. The study will also collect survival data to obtain a greater understanding of the potential gain from such surgery, compared to its adverse impact.

  • REC name

    West Midlands - Solihull Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    16 Apr 2015

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion