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World J Surg. 2005 Mar;29(3):293-6.

Somatostatin, somatostatin receptors, and pancreatic cancer.

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  • 1Elkins Pancreas Center, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine and the Methodist Hospital, 6550 Fannin Street, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. minli@bcm.tmc


Somatostatin may play an important role in the regulation of cancer growth including pancreatic cancer by interaction with somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) on the cell surface. Five SSTRs were cloned, and the function of these SSTRs is addressed in this review. SSTR-2, SSTR-5, and SSTR-1 are thought to play major roles in inhibiting pancreatic cancer growth both in vitro and in vivo. SSTR-3 may be involved in mediating apoptosis, but the role of SSTR-4 is not clear. In most pancreatic cancers, functional SSTRs are absent. Reintroduction of SSTR genes has been shown to inhibit pancreatic cancer growth in cell cultures and animal models.

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