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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.
26 October 2016
People could be at a bigger risk of having high blood pressure if their home is close to a busy road, research has suggested.
25 October 2016
Almost 200 ill youngsters have been given the chance to enjoy a holiday of a lifetime thanks to the annual Dreamflight trip.
22 October 2016
A "perfect storm" of the falling value of the pound and security fears means holidaymakers are avoiding travel in Europe during October half-term.
21 October 2016
A union is warning of travel chaos over the Christmas period at four major UK airports, unless a baggage carrier transfers staff to other companies.
20 October 2016
Thousands of passengers faced travel chaos yesterday after rail service through the Channel Tunnel was suspended because of a power failure.
19 October 2016
People planning holidays from Gatwick Airport in the run up to Christmas could face travel chaos as unions threaten to strike over a pension dispute.
18 October 2016
Eurostar has said it will cut 12 services from London St Pancras to Paris and Brussels.
15 October 2016
Tourists in Thailand are being advised to "behave respectfully" and wear "sombre" clothing as the country mourns King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
14 October 2016
Holidaymakers are being warned to buy currency in advance as exchange rates being offered are as little as 0.96 euro to the pound at airports.
13 October 2016
Scientists say there is strong evidence air pollution and vitamin D deficiency can cause dementia.
12 October 2016
More people are going on holiday than at any time in the past five years despite terror attacks and the impact of Brexit, according to a study.
11 October 2016
People from across North Carolina had to be rescued from their homes as the downgraded Hurricane Matthew blew out to sea - leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.