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, Ferenc G. Rick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-997
Number of pages10
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Inflammation
  • Neuropeptide analog
  • Receptor silencing
  • Targeted therapy
  • Tumor gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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