The analysis of results from 258 patients found that just 3 per cent of large lesions recurred in patients on the drug. Those taking a placebo had a recurrence rate of 6 per cent.
And polyp recurrence among patients with early-stage colorectal cancer fell from 44 per cent to 25 per cent after the first year of the trial.
Manufacturers Axcan Pharma, of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Canada, said the average size of polyps that recurred also fell dramatically among users of the drug - standing at 0.07 cm compared with a rate of 0.31 cm among patients who took placebo.
Seventeen centers in Canada and the USA have been taking part in the phase II trial which involves more than 700 patients in total.
The drug is licensed in the USA for treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis. It is based on ursodeoxycholic acid, a bile acid that occurs in large quantities in bears, and can also be found to a more limited extent in humans.
Dr Patrick Colin, Axcan vice-president of clinical research, said: "These trends are promising, but they need to be confirmed by the final statistical analysis of the study, since they were observed in a small number of patients.
"They suggest that ursodeoxycholic acid might have an effect on polyp recurrence and progression in patients who are exposed to the highest risk of colorectal polyps."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com