British scientists are developing a new drug to combat breast cancer
British scientists could be just two years away from developing a drug that may be a ‘potential cure’ for breast cancer, it has been claimed.
Researchers have found that the cancer manipulates molecules, called microRNAs, to allow malignant cells to spread throughout the rest of the body. The discovery means they can now work on developing a drug to stop this process.
Dr Justin Stebbing, senior lecturer and consultant medical oncologist at London’s Imperial College, is one of the experts behind the breakthrough. ‘There are no available drugs as yet but they should be available within a couple of years. This is a potential cure for breast cancer,’ he told the Daily Express.
‘This is a step on the way to it and it helps us understand the way breast cancer cells grow and divide and if we understand this then we understand how it stop it.’
In healthy cells microRNAs stop them from growing and dividing but in breast cancer cells the microRNAs are turned off.
Dr Stebbing said: ‘The way to cure breast cancer or any cancer is by fundamental biological understanding of what turns cells on and off, stopping the way tumours grow. We can use these microRNAs as a new treatment and make them do what current drugs don’t do.’
More than 45,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK each year.