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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.
19 January 2017
Nearly 1,000 people have had their holidays in Gambia cut short amid growing political unrest in the African state.
18 January 2017
Researchers at Cambridge University may have made a breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, according to preliminary findings.
17 January 2017
Stansted Airport has made a bid to become Britain's next hub for long-haul travel, as passengers are promised seamless connection facilities and baggage transfer.
13 January 2017
Long-term goals such as travelling more and visiting new places have come above healthy eating and changing jobs in a list of the top New Year's resolutions.
14 January 2017
Some of the biggest airports in the UK have been forced to cancel flights as snow and blizzard conditions sweep parts of the country.
Stress could be as significant a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes as smoking, drinking and overeating, new research shows.
24 December 2016
Planned strikes by British Airways cabin crew on Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been suspended amid continuing industrial unrest ahead of the weekend break.
11 January 2017
A connection between diabetes and inflection in children could be a major breakthrough in developing a cure for type 1 diabetes, according to new research.
10 January 2017
A new trial aimed at tackling widespread loneliness among older people is successfully reducing isolation using community-based tactics, a report shows.
07 January 2017
People may be able to enjoy better brain health in later life by following a Mediterranean diet, research has suggested.
06 January 2017
Many Britons plan to cut down on the costs of their holidays in 2017, as part of their financial resolutions for the New Year.
05 January 2017
Holidaymakers have been encouraged to make the most of the fact 2017 boasts a pair of bank holiday weekends just two weeks apart.