UKCTOCS Longitudinal Women’s Cohort

A biobank of samples and data donated by the women who joined the United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS).

What is this study about?

UKLWC is the bioresource created during the course of the United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) as a result of participants (202,280 postmenopausal women from the general population in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) donating their samples and data for use in secondary studies.

The goal of this project is to create an ‘open research’ platform accessible to all bona fide scientists from academia and industry for the study of common disease and delivery of precision medicine, in particular:

  • Identification of new drug targets for common conditions to enable drug development, repositioning and indication expansion
  • Discovery of novel risk prediction, screening, diagnostic and prognostic disease markers
  • Secondary use of data to address a different question or develop new methodologies, e.g. to new statistical methods or biomarker/prognostic indicators

Key features:

  • 202,280 postmenopausal women aged 50-74 years (at recruitment in 2001-5).
  • Informed consent for use of samples in secondary ethically approved studies with academia and industry.
  • Additional Section 251 approval.
  • Longitudinal follow-up.
  • High quality serum biorepository:
    - All samples collected using a standardised protocol.
    - Liquid nitrogen storage of 544,808 serum samples (10 x 450μL aliquots in straws), composed of 189,642 baseline samples (from 189,452 women) and unique longitudinal set: 355,166 annual serial samples (median 9) from 50,262 women.
  • Samples already validated for multi-omics analysis with academic and commercial collaborators: Nested case/controls sets used for:
    (i) Genotyping
    (ii) Proteomics (including SWATH technology)
    (iii) Methylation
    (iv) NMR metabolomics
    (v) Autoantibody profiling
    (vi) ELISA-based assays
    (vii) Lipidomics
    (viii) miRNA.
  • Established linkage to electronic health records (from 2000-2020):
    - National Cancer Registries (NHS Digital & Northern Ireland; National Cancer Intelligence Network - NCIN)
    - Hospital Episode Statistics (HES- In/Out Patient and A&E admissions; England & Wales)
    - Death Certificates (NHS Digital & Northern Ireland Death Registry)
    - MINAP (Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project; until 2010).
  • Large numbers of women with incident disease events.

More information is available on the UKLWC website.

Contact details

Data Sharing

Please email Sophia Apostolidou ( if you wish to explore use of samples and data. Once the project has been discussed with the UKLWC team and there is interest in proceeding with the collaboration, a project proposal will need to be developed and submitted together with a completed Data Access Committee Application Form to our Data Access Committee to approve release of the materials. Please find more information at

Who is funding the study?

UKCTOCS and UKLWC are funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Medical Research Council (MRC)Cancer Research UK and The Eve Appeal.

When is it taking place?

Recruitment initially opened in 2001 and the last sample was collected in 2011.

Where is it taking place?

United Kingdom.

Who is included?

Samples and data from the 202,280 postmenopausal women from the general population who joined the United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening.