Imipramine Shrinks Cancer Tumors


SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Each year in the US, nearly 267 thousand men and women are diagnosed with breast cancer, requiring chemo, radiation and surgery. Now, an exciting discovery by doctors with the University of Texas health San Antonio – it is an FDA-approved anti-depressant that is showing great promise in shrinking malignant tumors. Imipramine

Melinda Sanchez loves her job at the library, snuggling with her dog, Mia, and reading art books. Recently though, she began to be plagued by a weird sensation.

Sanchez says, “It went on for like three months. At nighttime, it was the worst. It wasn’t painful, it was extremely annoying.”

Doctors ordered a mammogram, which uncovered absolutely nothing.

Sanchez states, “I had another mammogram and still, nothing showed up. And they brought in an ultrasound and still, nothing showed up.”

But the pain became intolerable.

Sanchez says, “I couldn’t ignore it. So, I knew something was wrong.”

The tumor was revealed in a biopsy, and her doctor enrolled her in clinical trials using the anti-depressant Imipramine, to shrink tumors. It already had, in mice.

“I thought it was insane actually. At first, I was like, seriously?” says Sanchez.

But scientists were ready to move on from mice to human testing. Turns out, Imipramine worked better than some chemo.

Ratna Vadlamudi, PhD, OB GYN Professor at UT Health San Antonio says, “We were expecting some of the chemotherapy drugs may work but we didn’t see any effect of those. This one is interesting because it’s an anti-depressant already tested in the patient for 20 years.”

Imipramine stunts the growth of estrogen receptor-positive cancer cells, stopping the DNA in the cells from replicating.

“When the cancer cells grow, a lot of the damage from DNA happens.” Explains Ratna Vadlamudi, PhD.

Imipramine worked for Melinda to slow down her tumor’s growth.

Melinda says, “I personally, personally feel that everybody, man or woman, that’s going through cancer, should be on this drug.”

The National Institutes of Health supports these repurposed drug studies. It reaches patients faster and is cheaper and preferable to starting from scratch.

Contributors to this news report include: Donna Parker, Producer; Bruce Maniscalco, Photographer, Roque Correa,  Editor.


REPORT #3058

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer occurs when cells mutate and grow out of control creating a tumor. It can also grow into the tissue surrounding the breasts and travel to other parts of the body creating new tumors, called metastasis. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women followed by skin cancer. It is rare but men can develop it too. It can occur at any age, but mostly diagnosed in adults over 50. Early signs of breast cancer include: a mass or lump, thickening in or around the breast or underarm area, change in size, shape or look of the breast (dimpled; puckered; scaly or inflamed) and redness in the skin or blood-stained or clear fluid discharge. The best way to detect it is to get a routine mammogram.


CANCER TYPES AND RISK FACTORS:  There are three parts to the breast: lobules-glands that produce the milk, ducts-tubes that carry the milk and connective tissues that hold everything together. Most cancers begin in the ducts or lobules. The most common breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinoma, where the cancer cells begin in the ducts and then grow outside to other breast tissue, and invasive lobular carcinoma where the cancer cells start in the lobular and then spread to breast tissue close by. Both can metastasize to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, there are risk factors you cannot change that include: getting older, genetic mutations, reproductive history, having dense breasts, personal or family history of breast cancer, previous treatments, and exposure to drugs. And some you can change such as: not being physically active, being overweight or obese after menopause, taking hormones, reproductive history and drinking alcohol. If you are a woman with a parent, sibling or child with breast cancer that puts you at higher risk, you should talk to your doctor about starting mammography screening in your 40’s. You can also be tested for genetic mutations based on your family history.


THE BRCA1 and BRACA2 GENES: Breast cancer 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer 2 (BRCA2) genes are commonly affected in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Normally these genes would keep you from getting cancer, but the mutations keep them from working properly. Everyone has two copies of these genes, one inherited from the mother and the other from the father. You can inherit a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation from one parent and still have a normal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene from the other. Cancer occurs when a second mutation occurs in the normal gene and the person no longer has the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene that properly works. This second mutation would only be present in the cancer tissue, not throughout the body. So, if your family has a strong history of breast or ovarian cancer, you and your family are more likely to have the mutation. Family members who inherit the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations usually share the same mutation.


* For More Information, Contact:

Will Sansom, Public Relations

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