“I think it’s essential that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”
A trial to help stop polyps forming in the bowel (ukCAP)
We know that this is an especially worrying time for people with cancer and their family and friends. We have separate information about coronavirus and cancer. Please read that information alongside this page. We will update that information as guidance changes.
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 (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Richard Logan
Cancer Research UK
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/97/002.