HKBU scholars in world-first breakthrough for difficult-to-treat breast cancer
Dr Edmond Ma and his team develop the world’s first metal compound as the inhibitor of the enzyme KDM5A for treating triple-negative breast cancer, one of the most difficult forms of breast cancer to treat.
The diagram shows the use of the new inhibitor for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer.

Chemists at HKBU have discovered the use of a metal compound that inhibits the enzyme closely associated with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), one of the most difficult forms of breast cancer to treat. The metal compound is found to inhibit the TNBC tumours with less toxicity in mice, thus their work has further unmasked the role of the enzyme, lysine-specific demythylase 5A (KDM5A), in TNBC. The reported compound shows tremendous potential for the development of drugs for TNBC therapy. The results of this study were published in the leading chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

The team was led by Dr Edmond Ma Dik-lung, Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry. The team developed the compound using a metal named rhodium as a direct, potent and selective inhibitor of KDM5A, in other words the compound can effectively target KDM5A which is a key limitation of existing KDM5A inhibitors. To find out more, please visit: