Tests and tools for the detection of ovarian cancer in primary care (PhD)

Start Date Jan 2018

Code C1-C, PhD

Status Ongoing

Project Lead
Senior Lead
Supervisors: Prof Willie Hamilton (Exeter), Prof Emma Crosbie (University of Manchester)
Collaborators: Dr Gary Abel (Exeter), Prof Matthew Thompson (Washington), Prof Jon Emery (Melbourne)


Ovarian cancer is the deadliest form of gynaecological cancer resulting in the deaths of over 4,000 women in the UK each year. The majority of women are not diagnosed until the disease is at an advanced stage, which makes it very difficult to cure.

The ovarian cancer biomarker CA125 can be measured by a simple blood test and is widely used in UK primary care and internationally to investigate women presenting with vague symptoms that could indicate ovarian cancer. Despite NICE recommending CA125 as the first line test in women presenting with symptoms of possible ovarian cancer, no studies have yet evaluated its diagnostic performance in primary care. It is therefore unclear how effective it is at detecting cancer in this setting or how GPs and patients should interpret the results.

This study will use anonymised primary care and cancer registry data from over 120,000 UK women, who have been tested for CA125 in primary care, to investigate the diagnostic performance of CA125.

Aims & objectives

Outputs & impact

The results of this study will inform guideline development and should help guide GPs and patients to make informed decisions about further investigation and referral for possible ovarian cancer. We intend that this research should contribute to the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer.


Back to Research