PROMISE

PROMISE stands for Predicting Risk of Ovarian Malignancies, Improved Screening and Early detection.

This five-year international research project aims to halve deaths from ovarian cancer in the UK and beyond.

Women diagnosed with stage 1 or 2 ovarian cancer have a 90% chance of survival. But 70% of women currently present at stage 3 or 4 – which means that they have at least a 70% chance of dying.

Ovarian cancer has such poor outcomes, despite intensive efforts to improve surgery and chemotherapy, because the symptoms are difficult to identify and risk is not fully understood.

Therefore, to make a radical impact, we need to be able to identify at-risk populations AND improve diagnostic methods.

Key aims of PROMISE

  1. Develop and validate methods for predicting risk of ovarian cancer
  2. Develop and validate methods for earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer
  3. Develop an accurate, economically and socially viable method for screening appropriate populations for ovarian cancer

Project funding 

The total cost is £3,200,000 over a five-year period. The Eve Appeal is pleased to have raised £1.65 million, as the largest single funder of the project.

The research team 

PROMISE is an international collaboration. Under the direction of Professor Ian Jacobs at the University of Manchester, work is being carried out across four other universities. Our core research unit at UCL is heavily involved, as are researchers at the University of Cambridge, The University of Southern California and Harvard Medical School.

Feasibility Study

The ‘Predicting-Risk of Ovarian-Malignancy Improved-Screening and Early detection’ (PROMISE) ‘Feasibility Study’ (FS), aims to evaluate the possibility of offering all women the opportunity to find out about their risk of developing ovarian cancer, as well as the use of early detection and preventive options by women identified to be at increased risk. It is hoped that this approach can improve outcomes or prevent women from developing ovarian cancer itself.

Women over 18 years who have not had ovarian cancer, tubal cancer, primary peritoneal cancer or a genetic test looking for gene alterations that increase the risk of ovarian cancer are eligible to participate in this study. Interested women will access a specially designed web-based ‘decision aid’ and have access to a telephone helpline to help them decide if they wish to participate in the study. Women who consent will be asked to provide health related information and a blood sample for genetic testing for known ovarian cancer genes. The genetic-test results and health information provided will be used in a specially developed algorithim to predict a woman’s ovarian cancer risk.  Women found to be intermediate or high-risk will be offered options of screening (early-detection) and prevention through a specialist clinic at Barts Health NHS trust.

The study is being run from Barts Cancer Institute (Chief Investigator- Ranjit Manchanda). Please email bci-promisefs@qmul.ac.uk for further details.