When patients are very unwell with fast-growing  cancer, their options for treatment become more limited. This is particularly difficult for patients who have developed  tumours in the abdomen. The tumours can cause very uncomfortable and painful side effects affecting quality of life.

It can be difficult for chemotherapy to reach these tumours. Usually, chemotherapy is given to patients using a needle into a vein directly into their bloodstream. Since it is difficult for chemotherapy medicine to reach these abdominal tumours in this way, new ways of providing chemotherapy treatment are being trialled.

When the chemotherapy is changed into a spray, and then sprayed over the tumours directly, more can be given and it has a much better chance of treating the cancer. This has to be done in through keyhole surgery so the chemotherapy can be sprayed directly inside in the patient’s abdomen reach the tumours much faster. This treatment is called PIPAC (Pressurised Intra Peritoneal Aerosolised Chemotherapy). 

The PICCOS  trial is testing whether this way of giving chemotherapy reduces symptoms and reduces the size of  tumours. The trial is for people with colorectal, ovary or stomach cancer. This requires enough people to be treated with PIPAC and enough people to be treated the usual way (chemotherapy given with a needle). Once the results from these two patient groups can be compared then clinicians will be able to see if PIPAC treatment works better and if it can become standard of care in the UK.

This trial is currently only available in Wales but the team hope to open the trial at centres in England soon.  For more information as more trial centres open up please contact the Ovacome Support Team on 0800 008 7054 or e-mail [email protected]

The trial is funded by the National Institute of Health and Care Research.