ASPREE trial partnership outcomes will impact preventative health practices globally

(USA 2010 - 2018)

Melbourne’s Monash University partnered with The Berman Centre for Outcomes and Clinical Research to conduct the APREE trial.

Funded by the US National Institute on Aging (NIA), the US National Cancer Institute and the Australian NHMRC, the ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) trial investigated whether low-dose aspirin preserves health in older people. The trial was conducted over the eight years from 2010 with results released in 2018.

ASPREE is one of the largest clinical trials funded by NIA and included more than 16,700 participants in Australia and 2,400 in the USA. The randomised, double-blind placebo controlled study was lead by Professor John McNeil of Monash University in conjunction with Dr Anne Murray of the Berman Centre in the US.

Remarkably, for the size and duration of the project, the project was delivered on time and on budget.

APREE was conducted in community settings in south eastern Australia and clinics and in the USA. It was conducted in both city and rural locations with the assistance (in Australia) of over 2,000 general practitioners, collecting 44 million data items.

The trial secured a $1.9 million grant from the Victorian Government funded Victorian Cancer Agency to support clinical trial in regional Victoria and a further $1.5 million for ongoing support in regional Victoria.

The trial also included 14 sub-studies, which investigated other aspects of healthy aging. Tapping into specialist capabilities such as oncology, cardiology and mental health.  Studies involved multiple collaborators at a range of  institutions across Australia and the US.

One such example is the ASPREE-AMD, a study of the effect of low dose aspirin on aged related macular degeneration.  The collaborators on this study were Monash University (AUS), the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and the University of Iowa (USA).  Funding was received from multiple sources including $992,000 from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the US National Eye Institute.

Melbourne is one of the few places in the world that this type of study can be done. We have a unique capability of doing community based prevention studies and we are very lucky to have a Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine here at Monash University because it has the resources necessary to support a big study like this. The approval of a strategy for a clinical quality registries in 2018 will be integral in the future.

Professor John McNeil - Monash University

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