Monday, October 1, 2001
Compounds that induce apoptosis in premalignant or malignant cells
generally don't prevent the genetic changes that lead to cancer. Now researchers at the
University of Texas have described a compound that might do both.
Jordan Gutterman and university colleagues have focused on the natural
chemotherapeutic properties of plants. Their weapons of choice are avicins, a group of
triterpenoid saponins, which are extracted from acacia plants. Though similar to the
saponins used as an adjuvant by Antigenics Inc. (AGEN, New York, N.Y.), avicins have