A study to see if aspirin improves radiotherapy for rectal cancer (ASPIRE)

Cancer type:

Bowel (colorectal) cancer
Rectal cancer





This study is looking to see if anti inflammatory drugs such as aspirin help radiotherapy to work better. It is for people having radiotherapy before surgery for rectal cancer.

Doctors often treat rectal cancer with radiotherapy, or a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy), before surgery.

We know from laboratory research that radiotherapy might work better in people who are taking anti inflammatory drugs Open a glossary item such as aspirin. But in this study, the researchers want to find out more.

The aim of the study is to look at the possibility that aspirin can improve how well radiotherapy works for people with rectal cancer.

You will not have any direct benefit from taking part in this study. But the results of the study will be used to help people with rectal cancer in the future.

Who can enter

You may be able to join this study if all of the following apply. You

Trial design

The researchers need 60 people to join the study.

You will fill in a short questionnaire. It will ask if you take non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen or diclofenac and how often you take them.

The study team will take 2 extra blood samples when you have your routine blood tests. You also have some urine tests.

The researchers will ask to look at a sample of your cancer (a biopsy Open a glossary item) that is removed when you have your rectal cancer surgery. They will compare this with the original biopsy that was taken when you were diagnosed with rectal cancer.

Hospital visits

You will not need to make any extra hospital visits to take part in this study.

Side effects

You will not have any side effects as a result of taking part in the study.



Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

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

Chief Investigator

Prof Ann Williams
Prof Chris Paraskeva
Miss Katherine Gash

Supported by

Above and Beyond Charitable Trust
Cancer Research UK
David Telling Charitable Trust
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Royal College of Surgeons of England
University of Bristol

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


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

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

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