Effective treatment of experimental human non-Hodgkin's lymphomas with antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone

Gunhild Keller, Andrew V. Schally, Kate Groot, Gabor L. Toller, Alexandre Havt, Frank Köster, Patricia Armatis, Gabor Halmos, Marta Zarandi, Jozsef L. Varga, Jörg B. Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) were shown to inhibit the growth of various cancers. We investigated the antitumor activity and the mechanism of action of GHRH antagonists in human non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL). Nude mice bearing xenografts of RL and HT human NHL were treated with GHRH antagonists MZ-5-156 and MZ-J-7-138 at a dose of 40 μg twice daily. The concentrations of serum IGF-1 and GHRH, bFGF, and VEGF in tumor tissue were measured by radioimmunoassays. Expression of GHRH and splice variant 1 of the GHRH receptor in both cell lines was examined by RT-PCR. The effects of MZ-5-156, MZ-J-7-138 and GHRH on cell proliferation were evaluated in vitro. Treatment with MZ-5-156 and MZ-J-7-138 significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited the growth of RL and HT tumors by 59.9-73.9%. High-affinity binding sites for GHRH and mRNA for GHRH and splice variant-1 of the GHRH receptors were found on RL and HT tumors. RL and HT cells contained GHRH peptide, and their growth in vitro was significantly inhibited by both antagonists. IGF-I levels in serum of mice were significantly decreased by antagonist MZ-5-156. Therapy with GHRH antagonists also significantly reduced tumoral bFGF, whereas VEGF levels were not suppressed. Our findings suggest that GHRH antagonists inhibit the growth of RL and HT lymphomas by direct effects mediated by tumoral receptors for GHRH. GHRH antagonists could offer a new therapeutic modality for the management of advanced NHL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10628-10633
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 26 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Fibroblast growth factor
  • GHRH-antagonist
  • Growth factor inhibitors
  • Receptor splice variant 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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