About the ABC Trial

Update: Study recruitment is now closed. We will publish study results on this site when they're available.

The Aspirin for Breast Cancer (ABC) Trial is a research study seeking to find out if aspirin can keep breast cancer from coming back in people who had node-positive breast cancer before. It is the first U.S. study to try and answer this question.

Why aspirin

Aspirin is used by many people for pain and to prevent strokes and heart disease. It is available without a prescription.

Recent studies have linked aspirin with lower rates of cancer death in people who have had cancer. This suggests that aspirin may keep cancers from returning.

Interest in aspirin as a breast cancer treatment has been building since a 2010 research study found that women who regularly took aspirin were less likely to have their breast cancer return or to die from breast cancer.

Another research study in the United Kingdom on heart disease prevention found that study participants who took aspirin were less likely to die of cancer, including metastatic breast cancer. Based on these results, British scientists are also doing a study, called the Add-Aspirin Trial, to see if aspirin might be used with four different cancers, including breast cancer.

View additional studies 

The ABC Trial

Our ABC Trial is the first U.S. study looking at whether aspirin will keep breast cancer from coming back.

We recruited more than 3,000 people who have had breast cancer to be in our study. Download our flyer about our study.

Who can join the study?

When we were recruiting, our eligibility criteria was for the following:

  • You are a woman or a man who was diagnosed with breast cancer in the past
  • You have not regularly used aspirin (taken it 5 or more days a week) in the past month, including low-dose (baby) aspirin
  • You are between 18 and 70 years old
  • Your breast cancer has not recurred

Your healthcare provider can visit the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology website to learn more about the study. Study participants must be enrolled and treated by a physician participating in the NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) from either the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, NRG Oncology, or SWOG. You and your healthcare provider can learn more about member physicians at this website: clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=A011502&Search=Search

What will I do if I join?

When enrollment was open, people who joined would:

  • Be randomly (by chance) assigned to take either 300mg of aspirin or a placebo (a tablet that looks like the study drug but contains no medicine) for up to 5 years. You won’t know if you are taking aspirin or a placebo.
  • Be asked to give blood, urine, and permission for us to access your tumor samples if they are already available
  • Be asked to give blood and urine samples again in 2 years
  • Have physical exams every 6 months with a study healthcare provider
  • Answer a few questions about your general health and lifestyle

Taking part is voluntary, so you are free to leave the study at any time.

Study risks

If you join the study and are randomly assigned to take aspirin, there is a small risk of bleeding from aspirin use. Aspirin has been safely used in several research studies like ours. The most common and serious risks are described in the study consent form. Your healthcare provider can help determine if taking aspirin is risky for you.

Study benefits

You may not directly benefit from the study. But if aspirin works to keep breast cancer from returning, it could help other people with breast cancer across the world, especially in developing countries where cancer rates are increasing and traditional treatment is not available.  

Study funding and privacy

The ABC Trial is funded by the US Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and is sponsored by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The trial is run through the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, which is a national clinical trials network sponsored by the NCI.

It has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of the National Cancer Institute, a human subjects committee that makes sure all research is done ethically.

Volunteer patient advocates helped to develop this study and are active advisors throughout the study.

Study participation is completely voluntary. All participant data will be kept confidential, and no information that could identify anyone will be in any publications. Information about group data will be published.

To learn more or join our study, please contact us:
Phone: 617-632-1904
Email: dfciABC@partners.org