Preclinical evaluation of targeted cytotoxic luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analogue AN-152 in androgen-sensitive and insensitive prostate cancers

Markus Letsch, Andrew V. Schally, Karoly Szepeshazi, Gabor Halmos, Attila Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose and Experimental Design: To improve conventional chemotherapy, we developed cytotoxic analogues of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH), which can be targeted to prostate cancers expressing LH-RH receptors. In view of pending clinical trials on cytotoxic LH-RH analogue AN-152, containing doxorubicin (DOX) linked to [D-Lys6]-LH-RH, we investigated the effects of AN-152 on tumor growth of s.c. implanted androgen-sensitive LNCaP and MDA-PCa-2b prostate cancers, as well as androgen-independent C4-2 prostate cancers xenografted into the tibiae of nude mice. In the C4-2 study, serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were also measured. LH-RH receptors were analyzed by reverse transcription-PCR and ligand competition assay. We also evaluated whether AN-152 can affect mRNA expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor and HER-2 and -3 oncogenes. Results: After 32 days of treatment with AN-152, the growth of LNCaP cancers in castrated nude mice was strongly inhibited by 83% versus intact controls (P < 0.01) and 62% versus castrated controls (P < 0.05). In animals bearing MDA-PCa-2b prostate cancers, therapy with AN-152 for 25 days resulted in a 69% inhibition of tumor growth (P < 0.01 versus controls) and was more effective (P < 0.05) than equimolar doses of DOX or microcapsules of LH-RH agonist Decapeptyl. In nude mice bearing intraosseous C4-2 prostate cancers, treatment with AN-152 decreased serum PSA levels (P < 0.01) to 10.3 ± 3.4 ng/ml from 24.8 ± 4 ng/ml in controls, whereas DOX had no effect on PSA. The inhibitory effects of AN-152 on C4-2 tumors was accompanied by an increase in apoptosis and a decrease in tumor proliferation. Binding sites for LH-RH and the expression of mRNA for LH-RH receptors were found on s.c. C4-2 and MDA-PCa-2b tumors. The inhibition of MDA-PCa-2b tumors by AN-152 was associated with a significant decrease in mRNA expression for epidermal growth factor receptor, HER-2, and 3. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that cytotoxic analogue AN-152 could be considered for therapeutic trials in patients with advanced prostate carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4505-4513
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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