Cancer inhibition

Researchers at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC have discovered a compound that prevents cancer cells from producing a critical membrane component and so suppresses tumor growth. The compound OGT2378, a carbohydrate, inhibits the production of an enzyme that cancer cells need to make gangliosides, a compound involved in altering the cancer cell's surrounding environment and generating new blood vessels. "Cancer cells produce gangliosides at a much more rapid rate than normal cells," explains Stephan Ladisch, "By interfering with this process we can stop a tumor from growing in a rather dramatic fashion without damaging the normal tissue surrounding it."