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28 January 2014 08:57
Researchers are now working with a biotechnology company to prepare the experimental drug for patient trials
An experimental drug that researchers say can virtually halt the spread of breast cancer has given fresh hope to sufferers of the disease.
Scientists from Cardiff University's European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute have found that the chemical compound in question suppresses a gene called Bc13, which appears to play a critical role in metastasis.
They conducted computer simulations to work out how Bc13 functioned and then blocked it in tests on mice using a compound identified from a "virtual library" of chemicals.
The spread of tumours to vital organs such as the liver, brain and lungs is the chief reason why people die from cancer.
In the case of breast cancer, as many as 12,000 women in the UK develop a metastatic disease each year - often several years after their initial diagnosis.
"Despite great improvements in therapy of early stage breast cancer, the current therapeutic options for patients with late stage metastatic disease are limited," said Dr Richard Clarkson, who was part of the research team.
"There is therefore a clear unmet clinical need to identify new drugs to reverse or at least to slow down disease progression."
When mice with metastatic breast cancer were treated with the compound, the spread of tumours to the lungs and other parts of the body was dramatically reduced. In some cases, suppressing Bc13 meant the spread of cancer was halted by more than 80%.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. It mostly affects women over the age of 50, although younger women, and in rare cases, men, can also develop the disease.
Sufferers holidaying overseas should remember to purchase adequate
breast cancer travel insurance before jetting off, just in case something unexpected happens.
Following the successful testing on groups of mice, the scientists are now working with a UK-based biotechnology company called Tiziana Pharmaceuticals to further develop the drug and eventually bring it to clinical trials.
06 December 2016
Eating a handful of nuts every day can help reduce your chances of suffering heart disease and other serious illnesses, scientists have claimed.
03 December 2016
Thousands of Britons could be heading off on snow-sports holidays without appropriate travel insurance cover, it has been warned.
01 December 2016
Pilots at German airline Lufthansa are on strike again after a two-day break in their campaign of walkouts.
02 December 2016
Britons are among the top spenders in Europe when it comes to holidays, new research has found.
30 November 2016
The UK should think about resuming flights to the popular tourism resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, according to a major United Nations agency.
29 November 2016
Plans are in place to develop a new aviation arrangement between the UK and US, to ensure holidaymakers can still fly between the two countries once Britain departs the EU.
26 November 2016
Hundreds of Lufthansa flights have been grounded after pilots working for the airline took part in a strike.
25 November 2016
The US is warning its citizens that Europe is facing a "heightened risk of terror attacks" at Christmas markets and other seasonal holiday events.
24 November 2016
A groundbreaking radiotherapy machine that can track the changing position of tumours in real time will soon be used to treat cancer patients in the UK.
23 November 2016
Top airline bosses are urging the government to scrap air passenger duty ahead of Wednesday's Autumn Statement.
22 November 2016
Winter sun is now the most popular holiday type, according to new research conducted by travel experts.
19 November 2016
A holiday price increase of 10% on trips to Europe could cause tourists to postpone their getaways next year, experts are warning.