Lancet 12 May 2007 Vol 369

It’s not often that a professor of neurology is the corresponding author of a study on the prevention of colorectal cancer and indeed this particular part of the body was not on the minds of most of those who designed the trials of aspirin which he and his colleagues analyse in this paper. However, the evidence is gathering that NSAIDs including aspirin do help to prevent colorectal neoplasia. This paper is important for showing a latency of effect of about 10 years, and that prevention requires a dose of 300mg or more taken for at least 5 years. That’s rather a lot.

Necrotising enterocolitis in tiny premature babies is much feared on every SCBU: managing it is a nightmare, so a simple way of preventing it would be welcome. Probiotics may help, but this review of the trials finds few of sufficient power, and some evidence that “good