A trial to help stop polyps forming in the bowel (ukCAP)

Cancer type:

Bowel (colorectal) cancer




Phase 3

This trial looked at aspirin and folate to prevent bowel polyps (adenomas) forming. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.

Most bowel cancers develop from polyps. So preventing polyps from forming could lower the risk of bowel cancer. Earlier research suggested that aspirin and folate (a vitamin in our normal diets) may prevent polyps from forming.

This trial recruited people who had already had one or more polyps removed from their bowel. The aim of the trial was to find out if a daily dose of folate or aspirin, or both, could help stop polyps forming again and so help prevent bowel cancer.

Summary of results

The researchers found that aspirin is a useful treatment to help stop polyps coming back.

This large trial recruited 945 people

  • One quarter had folate alone
  • One quarter had aspirin alone
  • One quarter had aspirin and folate
  • One quarter had dummy tablets (placebo)

853 patients had a colonoscopy 3 years after they started treatment in this trial. The researchers published the results in 2008. They looked at whose polyps had come back. They found

  • Aspirin reduced the risk of the polyps coming back by 21%
  • Aspirin also reduced the risk of advanced polyps developing by 37%
  • Folate had no effect on polyps growing back

We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

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

Professor Richard Logan

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/97/002.

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 154

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

Alan took part in a clinical trial for bowel cancer patients

A picture of ALan

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

Last reviewed:

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