Combination of GHRH antagonists and docetaxel shows experimental effectiveness for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancers

S. Seitz, F. G. Rick, A. V. Schally, A. Treszl, F. Hohla, L. Szalontay, M. Zarandi, O. Ortmann, J. B. Engel, S. Buchholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In preclinical studies, antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) have demonstrated inhibitory effects on the growth of various types of cancers expressing the pituitary type of GHRH receptors (pGHRH-R) and/or its active splice variant 1 (SV1). In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of the treatment of MDA-MB-231 human triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) with GHRH antagonist JMR-132 alone or in combination with docetaxel. Receptor expression in the MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell line was evaluated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Cell viability assays were performed on MDA-MB-231 cells treated with JMR-132, docetaxel or in combination. For studies in vivo, a subcutaneous nude mouse xenograft model was used. JMR-132 was administered s.c. at a dose of 10 μg/day and docetaxel at a dose of 10 mg/kg i.p. given on day 1 and 5. Similar regimens were used for the combination of both substances. At the end of the experiment, an mRNA-based human cancer pathway array including 84 major genes was performed on the tumor tissue of mice treated with JMR-132 to elucidate the mechanism of action of GHRH antagonists in vivo. The in vitro proliferation studies revealed that JMR-132 and docetaxel decreased the cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. The combination of both treatments produced a significantly greater inhibition of cell viability compared to the single agents. Treatment of nude mice bearing MDA-MB-231 xenografts with JMR-132 and docetaxel significantly (p<0.05) inhibited tumor growth by 46 and 50%, respectively. Treatment with the combination of JMR-132 and docetaxel led to an inhibition of tumor volume by 71.6% (p<0.001). Polymerase chain reaction array analysis revealed that JMR-132 interacts with signal transduction pathways involved in proliferation, apoptosis and angiogenesis. Our results suggest that GHRH antagonists in combination with taxanes may enhance the efficacy of treatment for patients with TNBC expressing the SV1 and/or the pGHRH receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-418
Number of pages6
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Growth hormone-releasing hormone antagonist
  • Splice variant 1
  • Triple-negative breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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