Research is under way into developing a treatment which may lead to breast cancer cells self-destructing without affecting healthy tissue.
The work offers new hope to many of the hundreds of women with breast cancer whose disease is no longer responding to existing treatments. The €250,000 grant from Breast Cancer Now will see research carried out at the Centre for Chromosome Biology at NUI Galway, and it will focus on the role of CDC7 inhibitors in combating the disease.
Prof Corrado Santocanale was the first to suggest CDC7 inhibitors had a role in stopping breast cancer cells growing while researching in Italy more than a decade ago.
He is now hoping to develop a treatment which will be able to avoid the devastating side-effects commonly linked to chemotherapy.
The CDC7 inhibitors can kill off cancer cells but preserve healthy tissue.
The three-year project could potentially lead to molecules being developed into a vital alternative treatment for patients with cancers that have become resistant to other drugs.
Around 2,800 women in Ireland are diagnosed with breast cancer annually.
The majority of the 700 women who die from the disease each year in Ireland will have seen their cancers become resistant to treatment.