Late last month saw the launch of an aspirin study called ADD-Aspirin to investigate whether aspirin can be used to prevent or delay the recurrence of a cancer. People living in India and the UK who have had, or are undergoing early treatment for cancer in the oesophagus, stomach, bowel or breast or prostate are eligible to participate.
Funded by the NHS and Cancer Research UK, 11,000 participants will be randomly allocated 100mg, 300mg or a placebo tablet. Participants over the age of 75 will only be allocated to 100mg of aspirin or placebo due to the potential for experiencing side-effects from aspirin said the study press statement.
According to the NHS, ADD-Aspirin is the world’s largest study to focus on preventing the return of cancers that have been treated, or are in the early stages of treatment.
The ASPREE study by comparison has a wider scope – investigating the relationship between low-dose aspirin and cancer, in addition to its effect on cardiovascular disease, dementia and depression, the most common causes of disability in older people. ASPREE focusses solely on older people and will for the first time, weigh the benefits versus the risks of low-aspirin in this age-group.
ASPREE participants continue to generously support the ASPREE Cancer Endpoints Sub-study (ACES), which banks blood/saliva and tumour samples as a resource for future research on the cancer/aspirin question. ASPREE participants also answer questions about lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking history, cancer screening, tests, cancer diagnoses (old and new) and family history of cancer.
Although ADD-Aspirin results will provide another piece to the aspirin/cancer puzzle, researchers urge people not to commence aspirin therapy without speaking to their doctor first.
Results from ADD-Aspirin are expected in 2026.
Results from the main ASPREE study are expected in 2018.