A double-blind, placebo-controlled, three arm randomised multi-centre GCIG trial of AZD2171 in patients with ovarian cancer

Testing a new ovarian cancer drug in patients whose cancer has returned

What was this study about?

Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women. Treatment involves surgery to remove the cancer, followed by chemotherapy. Many women have a good response to chemotherapy, but in some women the cancer does return. This trial is to test a new drug for women whose cancer has returned, to see if it works in ovarian cancer and to see how long the drug needs to be given. The drug, cediranib (AZD2171), works in a different way to other chemotherapy drugs and is taken once a day as a tablet, along with platinum-based chemotherapy. In the trial some patients will continue the drug after the main chemotherapy treatment has finished. To make the trial a fair test some patients will be given a dummy pill (placebo) instead of the new drug. Neither patients nor doctors will know which of the two types of tablet are being taken by the patients (a double blinded trial).

What difference did this study make?

The ICON6 trial found that a new drug, called cediranib, delays the growth of cancer in women whose ovarian cancer has come back after an initial course of chemotherapy. These results were presented at the 2013 European Cancer Congress.

The ICON6 trial team presented results at the 2014 European Society for Medical Oncology Congress showing that adding the drug cediranib to standard chemotherapy does not negatively affect the quality of life for women with ovarian cancer.

Based on the positive results of the ICON6 trial, AstraZeneca are applying for a license for cediranib. If this is succesful, cediranib could be routinely available as a cancer treatment for ovarian cancer patients in Europe.

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details


Who funded the study?

The trial is being paid for by the charity Cancer Research UK, and supported by the Medical Research Council and the National Cancer Research Network. Astra-Zeneca, the manufacturers of cediranib (AZD2171) are providing this drug and placebo for the trial.

When did it take place?

This trial recruited women from December 2007 to December 2011.

Where did it take place?

Many hospitals throughout Europe, Canada, Australia and New ZealandĀ are taking part.

Who was included?

Women who have either ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer which has come back (recurrence) more than 6 months after a good response to first treatment.