A study of 59 patients has found that the drug is "strongly associated" with a decreased risk of colonic dysplasia.
The cross-sectional study conducted by doctors from the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA, showed that ursodiol more than halved the incidence of colonic dysplasia. 41 of the patients had used ursodiol and 18 had not.
Ursodiol has more than halved the incidence of colonic dysplasia.
|Dr Bruce Tung|
The researchers, led by Dr Bruce Tung, say that colitis patients face a 50% risk of developing cancer within 25 years if they have primary sclerosing cholangitis.
They said their study supported the findings from animal models - that ursodiol could protect against colorectal neoplasia.
They write, "Ursodiol use appears to be associated with a lower frequency of colonic dysplasia in patients with ulcerative colitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis.
"A randomized trial investigating the chemoprotective effect of ursodiol in patients with ulcerative colitis may be warranted."
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