The effects of butyrylated high amylose maize starch on polyposis in FAP volunteers

Lead researcher

Prof Finlay Macrae (VIC), A/Prof Alex Boussioutas (VIC), Dr Julie Clarke (SA) Dr David Topping (SA), Dr Shusuke Toden (SA), Prof Patrick Lynch (USA), Prof Allan Spigelman (NSW), Dr Mark Appleyard (QLD), Dr Paul Hollington (SA), Dr Hooi Ee (WA), Prof Don Cameron (VIC)

Colorectal Medicine and Genetics, Melbourne Health

Years funded

Most bowel cancers commence as polyps (adenomas to be exact). CSIRO have developed a modified starch that is capable of preventing the growth and appearance of adenomas in animal and other laboratory studies.

This project takes this work to a clinical trial, through participants who have a defined predisposition for developing hundreds of polyps and, inevitably, bowel cancer. If polyps can be shown to be inhibited in their growth and/or disappear, through the approach of a double blind randomised trial testing the modified starch against a like-looking placebo, we will very likely have defined an approach to prevent bowel cancer in these people and in the community at large.

This study is such a randomised controlled trial using the clinical resources of most centres caring for these patients across Australia.

Lay Report


Cancer Council NSW, Cancer Council Queensland, Cancer Council SA

Funding Body

Cancer Council Multi-State Research Grant


$300,000 (VIC), $345,617 (NSW), tba (QLD), $104,736 (SA)