Two nurses discussing patient notes in a chemotherapy unit

MIRRORS-RCT (Pilot): A trial to find out if minimally invasive robotic surgery can be used for operations to treat ovarian cancer.

Trial at a glance

Open trial

  • Cancer type: Epithelial – high-grade serous and endometrioid | Epithelial – clear-cell | Epithelial – mucinous | Epithelial – low-grade serous
  • Treatment stage: Primary treatment
  • Acronym: MIRRORS-RCT (Pilot)

Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery, Role in Optimal Debulking Ovarian Cancer, Recovery & Survival – Randomised Controlled Trial (Pilot)

Who can take part

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

You may be able to take part in this trial if you:

  • are 18 years or older
  • have stage 3c, 4a or 4b ovarian cancer
  • have a pelvic mass that is 8cm or less in size and
  • are having chemotherapy before surgery.

About the trial

Ovarian cancer surgery is usually carried out by making an incision on the abdomen, from just above the pubic bone to above the navel (belly button). Sometimes the incision may need to be longer if the cancer has spread further upwards in the abdomen. 

Robotic surgery is a development of laparoscopic ‘key-hole’ surgery where surgery is performed through ports (tubes) placed in small incisions (cuts in the abdomen). Robotic surgery uses computer-aided devices alongside other surgical instruments. The surgeon sits at a console, in the theatre, which gives a three dimensional view of the operation. A surgical assistant is by the patient’s bedside. The surgery is not automated and is still entirely performed by the surgeon but with mechanical assistance provided by the robot. Currently, the role of robotic surgery in operations for ovarian cancer is not clear. It could reduce the side effects of surgery for some patients because it reduces the need for larger incisions.

This trial is being carried out to see whether robotic minimally invasive surgery is as good as open surgery and whether the survival, progression free survival (how long you are cancer free/stable after treatment) and complication rates for patients with ovarian cancer undergoing this form of surgery are the same, worse or better.

If you take part in this study you will be randomised (placed into a treatment group by a computer) into one of two groups:

  1.  MIRRORS (robotic) protocol – surgery will start with an initial laparoscopy at the beginning of your operation (inserting a small camera through a small cut on the abdomen and 1 or 2 instruments) to assess the extent of disease and inform the decision regarding whether to proceed with maximal interval debulking surgery via robotic or open surgery. The surgery will then proceed by one of these two routes. If there is disease that cannot be removed robotically after starting by this route, but can be removed via an open incision the surgery will be converted to an open procedure if it is safe to do so. If there are any complications, it may also be necessary to convert to open surgery.
  2. Standard open surgery – surgery will proceed as is currently the standard with a cut down the middle of the abdomen.

This information was last reviewed on 12/01/2024. Please note that the status of clinical trials can change at short notice. You should always check with your clinical team which trials may be suitable for your situation.