Yahoo Finance: Greehey CCRI Deputy Director, Manjeet Rao, Ph.D. to Present at the 2021 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS)

This year’s conference will feature an oral presentation by Manjeet Rao, Ph.D., about a possible FDA-approved anti-depressant being studied that may block breast cancer growth by preventing breast cancer cells from repairing themselves.

Dr. Rao has been studying the unique ability of cancer cells to repair DNA damage caused by either unchecked growth or chemotherapy and radiation. Even though breast cancer cells can’t repair all the damage themselves, they recruit back-up DNA repair systems in the body to help damaged cells survive and continue replicating. These back-up DNA repair systems can cause previous treatments not to work if cancer returns. “Our pre-clinical and clinical data show that a drug that can inhibit the alternate DNA repair pathway signaling may promote immune surveillance, and therefore may serve as a novel treatment option for treating breast cancer patients,” Dr. Rao said.

He will be presenting preliminary results from a clinical trial that is being conducted exclusively at UT Health San Antonio to evaluate the anti-depressant drug Imipramine that may inhibit breast cancer growth by stopping the alternate repair programs. The presentation will be given during the afternoon session on Tuesday, Dec. 8between 1 and 3 p.m.

Dr. Rao is a professor of cell systems and anatomy, deputy director of the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute based in the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, and is co-leader of experimental and developmental therapeutics at the Mays Cancer Center.

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