Forbes Health Highlights, Oct. 2, 2006 Studies in mice suggest that blocking the activity of a key enzyme could put the brakes on colon cancer. Reporting in the Oct. 1 issue of Cancer Research, a team at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, say compounds that inhibit this enzyme, called aldose reductase, might prove to be potent colon cancers fighters. Aldose reductase plays a key role in biochemical signaling that drives inflammation and the growth of malignant cells, the researchers found. "When we inhibited aldose reductase by using pharmacological inhibitors or genetic manipulations, all the inflammatory players were significantly blocked," lead researcher and UTMB professor Satish Srivastava said in a statement. In mice with colon cancer, inhibition of the enzyme brought about complete cessation of tumor growth, with no apparent side effects, the researchers said. According to Srivastava, aldose reductase-inhibiting drugs are already being tested in phase III clinical trials elsewhere, since they may also help prevent complications linked to diabetes. However, more study is needed before their effectiveness against human colon cancer can be confirmed, the researcher said.