April 6, 2018
The drug, crizotinib, targets a genetic defect that is found in around 7,000 breast cancer patients in the UK each year.
It is already used to treat non-small cell lung cancer by shrinking tumours.
Medics hope it can now be “repurposed” for women with the gene-related form of the disease.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, of charity Breast Cancer Now, called the discovery “extremely exciting”.
The new approach targets cells with faulty versions of a protein called E-cadherin.
This protein helps to bind healthy cells together but when defective it causes cancer cells to grow and divide abnormally.