Irish scientists have made a significant breakthrough in the fight against breast cancer.
They have discovered a molecule that selectively kills cells of a type of breast cancer which is typically difficult to treat -- triple-negative breast cancer.
The discovery could lead to new types of therapy with stronger outcomes for patients, according to The Irish Times.
Researchers at the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dublin reportedly tested different molecules, trying to isolate and destroy the cells of triple negative breast cancer, all the while leaving regular cells unharmed.
And they found that a molecule known as BAS-2 was able to do this.
This is a significant breakthrough because roughly one in eight breast cancers are triple-negative, and is most common in younger women.
Triple-negative breast cancer is a type of cancer which is predominantly treated with chemotherapy, but up to 70 percent of patients develop a resistance to the treatment.
Researchers say that BAS-2 kills the cancer cells by way of an enzyme called HDAC6, which alters the energy of the cancer cells and makes them less potent.
They've confirmed they've submitted a patent around their findings and are seeking industry partners to further develop this treatment.
"Our aim now is to develop the small molecule into a more drug-like compound and to assess if we can harness the new function for potentially improved treatment of patients," said RCSI lecturer Dr. Tríona Ní Chonghaile.