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Project information

British Translational Research Collaboration

We will establish the UK's first ovarian tumour bank through the national collection of biopsies and blood samples. Currently biopsies are only routinely taken at initial diagnosis which limits crucial access to understanding how the disease develops and how it responds to treatment .

September 2012 - September 2015

Charity information: Ovarian Cancer Action

Ovarian Cancer Action logo
  • Need


    There are some 30 types of ovarian cancer each with different molecular characteristics but there is a need to further characterise the subtypes, to understand how the disease develops, how it responds to treatments, identify targets for new treatments, and to develop therapies tailored to each woman's tumour. Scientists thus need access to a comprehensive collection of tumour samples and related clinical information to study the genetic changes that occur during the development of the disease.


    Nine cancer research centres across the UK will collect biopsy samples during and after treatment to monitor progression of individual cancers.Comparing patterns of cancer progression, treatment and survival rates for different forms of the disease will help researchers to identify which treatments are likely to work best for each patient, depending on her personal and genetic profile and form of the disease.This will also aid understanding of why tumours become resistant to chemotherapy.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    We aim to collect 300 samples in the first three years.


    » At nine collaborating cancer centres, we will ask women with ovarian cancer which has come back to donate three tumour samples.

    What success will look like

    Successful collection of three samples from 100 women.

  • Impact


    The bank will give scientists a route to better understanding of data sets with detailed information on cancer genetics, response to treatment and survival outcomes.The data is crucial to translational research which aims to develop individualised ovarian cancer treatments and identify markers of treatment response.


    The main risk is the ability to obtain the requisite number of samples to ensure statistical significance. However the number and breadth of institutions involved in the collaboration has been carefully considered to ensure the greatest mitigation of such a risk.


    We will report to donors annually on the project. At the end of each year
    we will detail the number of tumours collected in accordance with plans. We will also invite researcher submissions for proposals for use of this valuable information and will outline projects utilising the bank accordingly.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £380,834

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £130,834 Collaborative Coordinator 3 years
      £250,000 Biopsies/Transport Collection £800x100/yr, Transportation £25x40, archive sample retrieval, coordinator travel
  • Background


    Eight initial partners:
    The Beaston Cancer Centre Glasgow; The Edinburgh Cancer Centre; The Northern Institute of Cancer Research,Newcastle; St.James Institute of Oncology and Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine; The Christie, Manchester;Cambridge Research Institute; Bart's Cancer Institute, London; Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre, Imperial College, London; Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Centre, Belfast


    "This collaborative gives us a unique opportunity to improve the outlook for women with ovarian cancer, by studying in detail the changes in their cancer over time. it will be an internationally unique resource. The funding from Ovarian Cancer action will enable us to start answering some really fundamental questions and start developing new treatments for our patients"- Prof. Iain McNeish, co-chief investigator BriTROC & Prof. Oncology Bart's Cancer Institute

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Ovarian Cancer Action set up the UK's only, and Europe's largest dedicated ovarian cancer research centre comprising in excess of 70 scientists. The charity also brings together the world's thought-leaders on ovarian cancer bi-annually at the international Helen Harris Memorial Trust meeting.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    BriTROC Coordinator - New Appointment

    The coordinator will ensure the smooth communication and operation of the project and will act as a vital liaison between partcipating centres

    Prof. Hani Gabra, Prof. Iain McNeish, Dr James Brenton

    Co-chief investigators at the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre, Bart' Cancer Institute, Cambridge Research Institute