The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have published draft guidance, which suggests that a daily dose of aspirin administered for more than two years could help lower the chances of developing bowel cancer in people who have Lynch Syndrome. People suffering from the inherited condition are more prone to develop several different types of cancers, and it is estimated that 4 out of 5 people develop bowel or colorectal cancer during their lifetime. Dr. Paul Chrisp, Director, Centre for Guidelines, NICE, says that taking daily aspirin for more than two years lowers the risk of developing colorectal cancer in people with Lynch syndrome. The draft guidance is yet to be finalized before it gets ready for clinical applications.
NICE’s draft guidance comes after a clinical trial was conducted, which involved 427 people with Lynch syndrome who were assigned to take aspirin and another group of 434 people who were given a placebo. After five years, 18 out of the 427 who took aspirin developed bowel cancer, whereas 30 out of the 434 who took a placebo were diagnosed with bowel cancer. Emlyn Samuel, Head, Policy Development, Cancer Research UK, commented that the draft recommendation was a breakthrough for people with Lynch Syndrome, who are more prone to developing bowel cancer compared to the general population. Cancer Research UK partially financed the trial that proved that aspirin could help lower the chances of bowel cancer in people diagnosed with Lynch syndrome, and NICE developed the draft guidance in keeping with the 2015 cancer strategy for England, Samuel added.
Chrisp explains that when it comes to the risks associated with the long-term intake of aspirin, for people with Lynch syndrome, the committee has agreed that the benefits would outweigh any potential harm. Currently, trials are being carried out to determine the most effective dose of aspirin for people with Lynch syndrome.