A new scientific discovery could mean doctors may well be able to produce innovative breast cancer treatments in the future.
Researchers at the Institute of the McGill University Health Centre have identified a hormone that, if targeted by specific drugs, could prevent breast cancer spreading to other parts of the body.
Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), which is found in high concentrations in tumours, is present at key stages in the development and spread of breast cancer, according to the study.
Doctors targeted this protein and found that by inhibiting it, the growth of the breast cancer tumour was significantly reduced.
"The removal of this hormone in the breast and breast tumours block not only the growth of the tumours but also its spread to different organs," said Dr Richard Kremer, the lead author of the study.
Breast cancer accounts for eight out of ten cancer incidences in women over the age of 50 in Britain, according to Cancer Research UK.