Your Impact

Melbourne cancer researchers funded in ground-breaking global study to prevent ovarian cancer!

Researchers from the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women’s Hospital are participating in a ground-breaking international study to determine whether removing the fallopian tubes alone is as effective as risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) in preventing ovarian cancer.

This research was made possible thanks to the generous support of Chargers like you and your friends, family, and colleagues.

Your support of The March Charge will make a difference to the lives of those impacted by cancer like Anne and her family:

The Background

Ovarian cancer starts when cells in one or both ovaries, the fallopian tubes or the peritoneum become abnormal, grow out of control and form a lump called a tumour. Cancer of the fallopian tube was once thought to be rare, but recent research suggests that many ovarian cancers start in the fallopian tubes.

Each year, about 1,720 Aussies are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, including serous carcinomas of the fallopian tube.

Over 80% of people diagnosed are over the age of 50, but ovarian cancer can occur at any age.

It is the 9th most common cancer in females in Australia.

The Research

Due to Cancer Council’s pivotal funding, clinical trials will be able to take place in Melbourne this year. This will be part of a study with well-over a thousand ovarian cancer patients around the world.

“To prevent ovarian cancer, many people with a BRCA1/2 pathogenic variant undergo a risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO). While this procedure is effective in preventing ovarian cancer, it causes infertility and surgical menopause with potential short and long-term health impacts,” lead researcher Professor Martha Hickey said.

“If the surgical removal of both fallopian tubes (salpingectomy) alone is effective in reducing ovarian cancer risk, this would have a profound impact on the short and long-term health of these patients, who could then avoid surgical menopause,” Prof Hickey added.

“Without this grant, we wouldn’t have been able to commence potential life-saving clinical trials this year, this funding allows us to continue for three years,” Prof Hickey said.

The findings from this project will directly change global practice in ovarian cancer prevention.

Learn more

If you or a loved one are affected by cancer at this time, you can call us on 13 11 20 for confidential information and support from one of our friendly healthcare professionals. Or visit our Online Community, a safe and supportive online discussion site.