Scientists have launched a new trial that may offer hope to people with 'incurable breast cancer.
They are studying whether an existing drug, talazoparib, also known by the brand name Talzenna, can offer a new treatment to people with of incurable breast cancer that has spread to the brain.
Secondary breast cancer, also known as static breast cancer, occurs when the cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body, where it becomes incurable. Last month it claimed the life of Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding .
The new essay, funded by the Breast Cancer Now charity, will see researchers to assess whether talazoparib might help people with terminal breast cancer. The drug is a PARP inhibitor, which acts by empcausing cancer cells to repair themselves, forcing them to die.
Experts at RCSI Dublin University of Medicine and Health Sciences will use tumors and breast cancer cells donated by patients to see in the laboratory whether talazoparib is effective in treating secondary breast cancer in the brain. Further tests will look at the drug in mice, as well as models that mimic the brain's protective system.
"Our previous research has shown that, in many cases, secondary breast cancer tumors in the brain have changes in the way they repair their DNA and we believe this could make them vulnerable to PARP inhibitor drugs like talazoparib, ”said Prof Leonie Young , one of the co-leaders of the research team.
Natalie Woodford, 57, from Surrey, who was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in 2017, praised the start of the research.
"It 's really encouraging to learn more about new secondary breast cancer research underway, ”she said. "I hope this study is successful and leads to new treatments for women like me in the future.
Dr Simon Vincent , Director of Research, Support and Influencer at Breast Cancer Now, added: "An estimated 35,000 people in the UK are living with incurable secondary breast cancer, and fear and uncertainty as to when where this devastating disease will take their lives.
"We desperately need to find new ways to treat this incurable disease, including those with cancer of the breast has spread to the brain and have very limited treatment options. "