Research Papers:

Antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone suppress in vivo tumor growth and gene expression in triple negative breast cancers

Roberto Perez, Andrew V Schally _, Irving Vidaurre, Ricardo Rincon, Norman L Block and Ferenc G Rick

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Oncotarget. 2012; 3:988-997. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.634

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Roberto Perez1,2,3, Andrew V. Schally1,2,3,4,5, Irving Vidaurre1,2, Ricardo Rincon1,2, Norman L. Block1,3,4, Ferenc G. Rick1,2,3

1 Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Miami, FL

2 South Florida VA Foundation for Research and Education, Miami, FL

3 Department of Pathology University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL

4 Divisions of Hematology/Oncology University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL

5 Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL


Roberto Perez, email:

Andrew V. Schally, email:

Keywords: neuropeptide analog, tumor gene expression, receptor silencing, targeted therapy, inflammation

Received: August 24, 2012, Accepted: August 28, 2012, Published: August 30, 2012


This study evaluated the effects of a modern antagonistic analog of GHRH on tumor growth and on expression of inflammatory cytokine genes in two models of human triple negative breast cancers (TNBC). The TNBC subtype is refractory to the treatment options available for other hormone-independent breast cancers. Inflammatory cytokines play a major role in the cellular signaling associated with breast cancer pathogenesis and enhance epithelial-mesenchymal transitions (EMT), drug resistance, and metastatic potential. Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide which regulates the synthesis and release of growth hormone by the pituitary and is an autocrine/paracrine growth factor for multiple human cancers. The effects of analogs of GHRH on tumoral cytokine expression have not been previously investigated. Animals bearing xenografts of the human TNBC cell lines, HCC1806 and MX-1, were treated with MIA-602, an antagonistic analog of GHRH. Treatment with MIA-602 significantly reduced tumor growth. We quantified transcript levels of the genes for several inflammatory cytokines. Expression of INFγ, IL-1α, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TNFα, was significantly reduced by treatment with MIA-602. We conclude that treatment of TNBC with GHRH antagonists reduces tumor growth through an action mediated by tumoral GHRH receptors and produces a suppression of inflammatory cytokine signaling. Silencing of GHRH receptors in vitro with siRNA inhibited the expression of GHRH-R genes and inflammatory cytokine genes in HCC1806 and MX-1 cells. Further studies on GHRH antagonists may facilitate the development of new strategies for the treatment of resistant cancers.

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