The world could be a step closer at finding a cure for breast cancer. The University of Edinburgh has discovered a new way to reduce the risk of breast cancer before it becomes deadly.

Scientists have identified a chemical compound that is highly effective at blocking the growth of breast cancer cells.

The chemical compound eCF506 targets a molecule called Src tyrosine kinase that is required for breast cancer cells to grow and spread.

Researchers said eCF506 is different because it is more selective and doesn’t affect other molecules in the cell. Researchers said test had shown the compound primarily targeted the cancer cell without damaging surrounding cells. Whereas, the current treatment damage cells around the affected area.

University of Edinburgh researchers said this may mean treatment more effective and have fewer side effects than the other drugs in development.

The team from the University of Edinburgh says the discovery proves that this approach offers a powerful and cost-effective method of discovering new medicines for cancer and other diseases.

Dr Asier Unciti-Broceta said:

“eCF506 is the first drug candidate of a second generation of Src inhibitors that will not only help to understand the complexity of some cancers but also the development of safer combination therapies”. Another key feature of the article is the novel strategy used to discover eCF506, which represents a more rapid and cost effective approach compared with traditional drug discovery methods.”

Head of the Edinburgh Cancer Discovery Unit at the University of Edinburgh and project co-leader Professor Neil Carragher said:

“This candidate drug will need to undergo further preclinical testing before it can be taken forward into clinical trials but these early findings are very promising.”

The University of Edinburgh are hopeful that this is a step closer to finding a cure for breast cancer. Cancer Australia revealed more than 3073 people have died from breast cancer this year.

Professor Neil Carragher said:

“The result provides further support for our new drug discovery approach, which aims to deliver more effective medicines at reduced costs for patients and healthcare providers.”

The team behind the research said this new data revealed is looking “very promising” for the future.

The full paper can be found in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.