Sialic acids are a family of sugars found throughout the body. They facilitate a variety of cellular functions such as interactions between cells and the detection of foreign bodies. But sialic acids are also linked to the progression of cancer, including bladder cancer. In a new study, researchers examined how bladder cancer cells rich in sialic acids respond to NEU1, one of several enzymes responsible for removing sialic acids from lipids and proteins. The team found that low NEU1 expression was linked to abnormally large amounts of sialic acids in cancer cells. In fact, low expression of NEU1 correlated with bladder cancer progression. High NEU1 expression, on the other hand, enhanced cancer cell death and decreased cancer proliferation. These findings were obtained for both cancer cells grown in the lab and cells extracted from mice with bladder cancer. The team’s work indicates that NEU1 is an important regulator of malignant cancer properties, making NEU1 a potential therapeutic for the prognosis and treatment of bladder cancer.