Cancer Research UK has initiated a new international study to further research the use of aspirin as an anti-cancer agent.
According to previous studies, low-dose aspirin could decrease the number of deaths of cancer patients by 10%, but two out of every 17 surviving individuals reportedly die due to strokes, bleeding or ulcers.
Led by Cancer Research UK epidemiology expert professor Jack Cuzick, the new study will include lab researchers, epidemiologists and clinical trial experts from organisations such as Harvard, Newcastle University, and University College London.
It aims to identify people who will potentially benefit from aspirin, as well as those at higher risk of the drug’s bleeding side effects.
The research additionally aims to determine the best dose, time taken and mechanism of the drug to decrease cancer risk. These findings are expected to aid in the future development of a new drug that would have similar benefits without the side effects.
Furthermore, the study will investigate the reason behind the impact of aspirin only on select types such as bowel, stomach and oesophageal cancers.
Cuzick said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to finally answer the questions that stand in the way of aspirin being more widely used to cut cancer risk.
“By bringing together researchers from the lab right through to epidemiology – who’ve not had the opportunity to work together before – it will help us to understand how aspirin prevents cancer and who will benefit most.”
The study will be supported by the Cancer Research UK Catalyst Award that will provide up to £5m funding over five years.