Triple-negative breast cancer is especially aggressive and difficult to treat. Now, new research may have uncovered a molecule that slows down this type of cancer. The research from the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, tested the effects of a spicy molecule on cultivated tumor cells of this aggressive cancer type. The researchers were led by Dr. Hanns Hatt and Dr. Lea Weber, and the institutions they collaborated with included the Augusta clinics in Bochum and the hospital Herz-Jesu-Krankenhaus in Dernbach, Germany. The researchers tested the effect of an active ingredient commonly found in chili or pepper – called capsaicin – on SUM149PT cell culture, which is a model for triple-negative breast cancer. Researchers added capsaicin and helional to the culture for several hours or days. This activated the TRPV1 receptor in the cell culture. As a result of TRPV1 being activated, the cancer cells died more slowly. Additionally, tumor cells died in larger numbers, and the remaining ones were not able to move as quickly as before. This suggests that their ability to metastasize was reduced.