Preclinical evaluation of therapeutic effects of targeted cytotoxic analogs of somatostatin and bombesin on human gastric carcinomas

Karoly Szepeshazi, Andrew V. Schally, Attila Nagy, Brady W. Wagner, Ana Maria Bajo, Gabor Halmos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. New modalities are necessary for the treatment of patients with unresectable gastric carcinoma. The authors investigated whether receptors for somatostatin and bombesin were present in human gastric carcinoma lines and tested the antitumor effects of cytotoxic somatostatin analog AN-238 and cytotoxic bombesin conjugate AN-215. METHODS. Nude mice bearing AGS, Hs 746T, and NCI-N87 human gastric carcinomas were treated with AN-238, AN-215, or their cytotoxic moiety 2-pyrrolinodoxorubicin (AN-201). Tumor growth reduction and tumor doubling times were calculated, and histologic characteristics of cell proliferation and apoptosis were examined. The expression of mRNA for somatostatin and bombesin receptors in tumors was investigated by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Subtypes 2 and 5 of somatostatin receptor proteins (sst2 and sst5, respectively) were analyzed using immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. Binding assays were performed with radiolabeled somatostatin and bombesin analogs. RESULTS. Cytotoxic bombesin analog AN-215 powerfully inhibited the growth of AGS carcinomas that expressed high-affinity subtype 1 bombesin receptors. All three carcinomas expressed high-affinity sst2 and sst5 receptors. Cytotoxic somatostatin analog AN-238 exerted a strong inhibitory effect on NCI-N87 and Hs 746T carcinomas, which exhibited high concentrations of somatostatin receptors, but had a weaker effect on AGS tumors, which expressed the lowest receptor levels. AN-201 had only nonsignificant effects. CONCLUSIONS. Experimental human gastric carcinomas that expressed high-affinity subtype 1 bombesin receptors were inhibited by cytotoxic bombesin analog AN-215, and tumors with high concentrations of sst2 or sst5 somatostatin receptors were suppressed by cytotoxic somatostatin analog AN-238. These findings suggest that this class of targeted compounds should be considered for the therapy of patients with advanced gastric carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1401-1410
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Bombesin receptor
  • Bombesin/gastrin-releasing peptide analog
  • Cytotoxic therapy
  • Gastric carcinoma
  • Somatostatin analog
  • Somatostatin receptor
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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