PROTECTOR is a research study for women who are at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. Some women may have an increased risk due to:
- Carrying an alteration in ovarian cancer causing genes such as BRCA1, BRCA2, RAD51C, RAD51D, BRIP1, or PALB2.
- Having a strong family history of ovarian and breast cancer or ovarian cancer alone.
PROTECTOR aims to assess the impact on women of a new two-step surgery to prevent ovarian cancer. This involves initially just having your fallopian tubes (or ‘tubes’) removed to prevent ovarian cancer. This is followed by removing your ovaries in a second operation at a later date of your choosing or once you have reached menopause naturally (which on average is 51 years in the UK).
The study assesses women’s views and the impact of this two-step surgery to prevent ovarian cancer on sexual function, hormone levels, quality of life and overall satisfaction. Outcomes from this new approach are compared to the traditional approach of removal of both tubes and ovaries in the same operation. We will also compare this to the well-being of women who do not have surgery. Women are able to choose which arm of the study they wish to take part in: single operation removing both tubes and ovaries, two-step surgery, ‘controls’ (no surgery).
Approximately 40 hospitals across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are recruiting participants for PROTECTOR. We aim to recruit 1,000 participants in total (333 in each study arm). If you would like to take part, please ask your GP to refer you to your nearest recruitment centre which can be found using our interactive map. Alternatively, you may contact our team for further details on how to take part.