Can aspirin reduce bowel cancer recurrence and improve survival after surgery?

Bowel cancer research has been given a major boost with an international study, involving Australia, being awarded funding to investigate the topical area of aspirin and bowel cancer.
The ASCOLT study is one of the successful recipients of Cancer Australia's Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme (PdCCRS) with funding coming from Bowel Cancer Australia and Cancer Australia.
While the benefits of aspirin for conditions such as cardiovascular disease are well known, there is growing evidence that aspirin has significant anticancer properties as well.  Studies that have looked at large groups of patients taking aspirin suggest that it might be able to prevent the cancer from ever coming back once removed.
ASCOLT provides the opportunity to determine if this relatively cheap and easily accessible medication can reduce the recurrence of bowel cancer and improve survival after surgery.
"Aspirin is a relatively safe, low impact, cheap and familiar medication.  If the study proves it can prevent bowel cancer recurring, it will provide a cost effective treatment option that will be applicable across the world," said Associate Professor Eva Segelov, Principal Investigator ASCOLT study.
Importantly, the study will also try to identify which patients benefit most from aspirin.
Approximately 1,200 patients will participate worldwide, with 200 patients from rural and regional sites across Australia.
For more information visit the ASCOLT clinical trial webpage.
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