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Horm Metab Res. 2008 May;40(5):315-22. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1073142.

New approaches to the therapy of various tumors based on peptide analogues.

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Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Miami, FL, USA.


The discovery of hypothalamic hormones was briefly reviewed. The development of new hormonal methods for the therapy of various cancers based on analogues of hypothalmic hormones is then presented. My group isolated luteininzing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH), also known as Gn-RH, from pig hypothalmi, elucidated its amino acid sequence, and synthesized it in 1971. The interest in medical applications of LH-RH led to the synthesis of LH-RH analogues by various groups. LH-RH agonists substituted in positions 6 or 10 including Decapeptyl, Leuprolide and Zoladex are much more active than LH-RH and on continuous administration produce inhibition of pituitary and gonads. Chronic administration of LH-RH agonists is being utilized for the treatment of prostate and breast cancer. Octapeptide analogues of somatostatin have various applications in Oncology. In 1980 we developed a new endocrine therapy for advanced prostate cancer based on agonists of LH-RH, which is now preferred by 70-90% of prostate cancer patients for primary treatment. LH-RH antagonists such as Cetrorelix can be used for therapy of BPH. On the basis of the presence of specific receptors for hypothalamic peptides on human cancers, we developed targeted cytotoxic analogues of LH-RH, somatostatin, and bombesin/GRP linked to doxorubicin or 2-pyrrolinodoxorubicin. These analogues inhibit the growth of experimental human prostate, breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer, renal cell carcinoma, pancreatic, colorectal and gastric cancers, small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-SCLC, brain tumors, melanomas, and lymphomas. Cytotoxic LH-RH analogues are now in clinical trials. Recently we demonstrated that growth hormone-releasing hormone (GH-RH) also serves as an autocrine growth factor in many cancers. Antagonistic analogues of GH-RH synthesized in our laboratory inhibit the growth of diverse tumors. The discovery of LH-RH and somatostatin has led to clinical use of their analogues in the field of cancer treatment and GH-RH antagonists also show a great promise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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