Breast cancer that has spread from the breast to other sites within the body is currently incurable despite 5-decades of research. Our novel approach exploits a unique metabolic pathway found in breast cancer. This pathway converts our newly discovered drugs into active metabolites that bind to DNA and induce cell death. Using this metabolic pathway our drugs are up to 500 fold more selective at killing breast cancer cells grown in culture while having little to no effect on other tumour types or on normal breast cells. The aim of the present project is to identify the chemical structure of these active metabolites and to identify the exact enzymes that are inducing this effect.
More than 3,000 women die of breast cancer each year in Australia.