A 16-year-old science genius believes he may have made a breakthrough in treating an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Krtin Nithiyanandam from Epsom has claimed to have found a way to make triple negative breast cancer, a subset of the disease that affects about 7,500 women every year, respond to traditional cancer drugs.

From November 2015: International recognition at Google Science Fair for Sutton Grammar schoolboy who developed test for Alzheimer's

From February: Sutton Grammar School student Krtin Nithiyanandam's dementia test shortlisted for national science award

The subset is diagnosed based on the presence, or lack of oestrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), according to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation.

The most successful breast cancer treatments target these receptors, but since none of these receptors are found in women with triple negative breast cancer, the disease is difficult to treat.

Krtin believes he may have found a way to change the cancer, so that it responds to drugs.

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Speaking to the Epsom Guardian after completing his first day of sixth form at Sutton Grammar School (pictured above) on Monday, September 5, he said: “With most types of breast cancer, they have receptors on them, and a lot of drugs intend to treat cancer by blocking those receptors.

“Because triple negative breast cancer doesn’t have those receptors, the drugs don’t work.

“To attack it, more traditional methods, like chemotherapy, are used.”

Krtin believes he has found a way to turn triple negative breast cancer’s characteristic undifferentiated cells – which get stuck in a deadly embryonic form – into their more complete, more treatable form, by blocking a protein called ID4.

“I’m not changing the drug. I’m changing the cancer,” he added.

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Krtin had been working on the therapies at his school’s laboratory in Manor Lane, Sutton.

He hopes announcing his breakthrough will garner interest in the wider scientific community and lead to further medical breakthroughs.

He said: “I’ve sent it around to a few professors and they seem to have a lot of contacts so it looks promising.”

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Krtin attracted international recognition last year for devising a test for Alzheimer’s, and gave a TEDx Talk – a series of global conferences on “ideas worth spreading” in technology, entertainment and design – on why students should break into science.

At just 16 years of age, he says he is yet to decide which fields he wants to focus on, but is interested in bioplastics and medicine.

He said: “At the moment I’m leaning towards the medicine side of things.

“I do like the idea of academic medicine. You get to do the research in the labs, but also get clinical practice.”

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