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Irish scientist to help combat aggressive 'triple negative' breast cancer

UCD’s Dr Madeline Murphy has been awarded €25,000 from the Breast Cancer Campaign.

Image: research via Shutterstock

AN IRISH SCIENTIST has been given the green light to research why some forms of breast cancer become resistant to chemotherapy.

The research could potentially lead to improved survival rates for those with the illness.

UCD’s Dr Madeline Murphy will be researching what is known as triple negative breast cancer.

This aggressive form of the disease can not be treated with drugs usually used against breast cancer.

However, it can also become resistant to other forms of therapy, such as chemotherapy drugs.

Katherine Woods, Research Communications Manager at Breast Cancer Campaign said that the cancer, which makes up around 15% of all cases of breast cancer, has poor survival rates.

“Improving chances of survival”

“Dr Murphy’s research could help to prevent this resistance, improving the chances of survival for thousands of people and bring us one step closer to our goal that by 2050 breast cancer could be overcome and outlived,” she said.

Using the grant from the Breast Cancer Campaign, equivalent to €25,000, Murphy will investigate how two proteins in tumours might be causing this resistance to chemotherapy.

The organisation funds 88 research grants with a total value of £12.9 million (€16.2 million) across Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Last month, the same organisation helped boost research by another Irish scientist at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who is investigating whether calcium deposits in the breast encourage the growth of breast tumours.

As many as 3,000 women In Ireland are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

Read: Irish scientist to find out whether calcium deposits cause breast tumours >

More: Study finds link between high cholesterol and breast cancer >

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Nicky Ryan

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