Breast cancer is the leading cancer in women of reproductive age; more than a quarter of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the US are premenopausal. A common adjuvant treatment for this patient population is chemotherapy, which has been shown to cause premature menopause and infertility with serious consequences to quality of life. Luteinizing-hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists, which induce temporary ovarian function suppression (OFS), has been shown to be a useful alternative to chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting for estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer patients. LHRH agonists have the potential to preserve fertility after treatment, thus, reducing the negative effects on a patient’s reproductive health. However, little is known about the association between a patient’s underlying degree of OFS and disease-free survival (DFS) after receiving LHRH agonists. Specifically, we are interested in whether patients with lower underlying degrees of OFS (i.e. higher estrogen production) after taking LHRH agonists are at a higher risk for late breast cancer events. In this paper, we propose a latent class joint model (LCJM) to analyze a data set from International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG) Trial VIII to investigate the association between OFS and DFS. Analysis of this data set is challenging due to the fact that the main outcome of interest, OFS, is unobservable and the available surrogates for this latent variable involve masked event and cured proportions. We employ a likelihood approach and the EM algorithm to obtain parameter estimates and present results from the IBCSG data analysis.
joint modeling; latent class model; EM algorithm; masked event; cured proportion; breast cancer
Targeted drug delivery using multifunctional polymeric nanocarriers is a modern approach for cancer therapy. Our purpose was to prepare targeted nanogels for selective delivery of chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin to luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) receptor overexpressing tumor in vivo. Building blocks of such delivery systems consisted of innovative soft block copolymer nanogels with ionic cores serving as a reservoir for cisplatin (loading 35%) and a synthetic analog of LHRH conjugated to the nanogels via poly(ethylene glycol) spacer. Covalent attachment of (D-Lys6)-LHRH to nanogels was shown to be possible without loss in either the ligand binding affinity or the nanogel drug incorporation ability. LHRH-nanogel accumulation was specific to the LHRH-receptor positive A2780 ovarian cancer cells and not towards LHRH-receptor negative SKOV-3 cells. The LHRH-nanogel cisplatin formulation was more effective and less toxic than equimolar doses of free cisplatin or untargeted nanogels in the treatment of receptor-positive ovarian cancer xenografts in mice. Collectively, the study indicates that LHRH mediated nanogel-cisplatin delivery is a promising formulation strategy for therapy of tumors that express the LHRH receptor.
Nanogels; cisplatin; LHRH-targeting; targeted drug delivery; ovarian cancer
Uveal melanoma is the most common primary intraocular malignancy in adults, with a very high mortality rate due to frequent liver metastases. Consequently, the therapy of uveal melanoma remains a major clinical challenge and new treatment approaches are needed. For improving diagnosis and designing a rational and effective therapy, it is essential to elucidate molecular characteristics of this malignancy. The aim of this study therefore was to evaluate as a potential therapeutic target the expression of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) receptor in human uveal melanoma. The expression of LHRH ligand and LHRH receptor transcript forms was studied in 39 human uveal melanoma specimens by RT-PCR using gene specific primers. The binding charachteristics of receptors for LHRH on 10 samples were determined by ligand competition assays. The presence of LHRH receptor protein was further evaluated by immunohistochemistry. The expression of mRNA for type I LHRH receptor was detected in 18 of 39 (46%) of tissue specimens. mRNA for LHRH-I ligand could be detected in 27 of 39 (69%) of the samples. Seven of 10 samples investigated showed high affinity LHRH-I receptors. The specific presence of full length LHRH receptor protein was further confirmed by immunohistochemistry. A high percentage of uveal melanomas express mRNA and protein for type-I LHRH receptors. Our results support the merit of further investigation of LHRH receptors in human ophthalmological tumors. Since diverse analogs of LHRH are in clinical trials or are already used for the treatment of various cancers, these analogs could be considered for the LHRH receptor-based treatment of uveal melanoma.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas are invariably lethal and developing effective treatments that have minimal side effects is a challenge. Previous studies from our lab have shown that conjugates of cell membrane disrupting lytic peptides and luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) target and destroy human prostate and breast cancer cells in xenografts in the nude mouse model 1, 2 which express LHRH receptors. The objectives of this study were to synthesize a bioconjugate of LHRH analog ([DLys6]-LHRH) and a dietary micro-chemical (Curcumin) and test the hypothesis that [DLys6]-LHRH-Curcumin targets and inhibits pancreatic cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo. In in vitro studies, we determined by confocal microscopy, flow cytometry analysis and RT-PCR that MIAPaCa-2, Panc-1 and BxPC-3 pancreatic cancer cell lines express LHRH receptors. [DLys6]-LHRH-Curcumin inhibited cell proliferation of pancreatic cancer cell lines and induced apoptotic cell death (p < 0.05). Apoptosis was induced by cleavage of PARP and Caspase-3. The activity of [DLys6]-LHRH-Curcumin was equal to free Curcumin at equimolar concentrations in vitro. Unlike Curcumin itself, the [DLys6]-LHRH-Curcumin conjugate is water soluble which allows its intravenous administration. In two in vivo studies, [DLys6]-LHRH-Curcumin given intravenously caused a significant (p < 0.01) reduction in tumor weights and volumes, and free Curcumin given by gavage at an equal dose failed to cause a significant reduction in tumor weights and volumes in the nude mouse pancreatic cancer model. [DLys6]-LHRH-Curcumin treatment enhanced apoptosis compared to [DLys6]-LHRH and vehicle treated controls in tumor tissue. In conclusion, [DLys6]-LHRH-Curcumin may be useful in treating pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer; Curcumin; [DLys6]-LHRH-Curcumin; luteinizing hormone releasing hormone receptor; tumor growth inhibition
Androgen deprivation therapy remains the mainstay of medical treatment for advanced prostate cancer. Commonly, this is achieved with medical androgen deprivation rather than surgical intervention as the permanence and psychological effects of the latter are unacceptable for most patients. Degarelix is a third generation antagonist of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH, also termed gonadotropin-releasing hormone) for the first-line treatment of androgen-dependent advanced prostate cancer. Degarelix acts directly on the pituitary receptors for LHRH, blocking the action of endogenous LHRH. The use of degarelix eliminates the initial undesirable surge in gonadotropin and testosterone levels, which is produced by agonists of LHRH. Degarelix is the most comprehensively studied and widely available LHRH antagonist worldwide. Clinical trials have demonstrated that degarelix has a long-term efficacy similar to the LHRH agonist leuprolide in achieving testosterone suppression in patients with prostate cancer. Degarelix, however, produces a faster suppression of testosterone and prostate-specific antigen (PSA), with no testosterone surges or microsurges, and thus prevents the risk of clinical flare in advanced disease. Recent clinical trials demonstrated that treatment with degarelix results in improved disease control when compared with an LHRH agonist in terms of superior PSA progression-free survival, suggesting that degarelix likely delays progression to castration-resistant disease and has a more significant impact on bone serum alkaline phosphatase and follicle-stimulating hormone. Degarelix is usually well tolerated, with limited toxicity and no evidence of systemic allergic reactions in clinical studies. Degarelix thus represents an important addition to the hormonal armamentarium for therapy of advanced androgen-dependent prostate cancer.
degarelix; GnRH; LHRH; metastatic prostate cancer; androgen-dependent prostate cancer; hormonal therapy
Current standard adjuvant therapies for early breast cancer include tamoxifen and chemotherapy, depending on the disease prognosis and menopausal status. Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogues offer a different approach to the management of early breast cancer in pre- and perimenopausal women. The most widely studied LHRH analogue is goserelin. It acts on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis to suppress ovarian function, decreasing luteinizing hormone and oestradiol levels to post-menopausal values. Pooled data from 228 premenopausal and perimenopausal patients with advanced breast cancer enrolled in 29 studies worldwide demonstrated an objective response rate for goserelin, 3.6 mg, of 36.4%, with a median duration of response of 44 weeks. These results fall well within the ranges of reported response rates for ovarian ablation and for tamoxifen in similar patient populations. By virtue of its mode of action, goserelin does not stimulate the ovaries and is unlikely to have detrimental effects on the endometrium. In addition, given that goserelin has no oestrogen agonist-like effects, unlike tamoxifen, there is no potential for tumour stimulation in those patients becoming resistant to treatment. Goserelin is generally well tolerated, and the main side-effects are related to ovarian suppression, which is potentially reversible. Preliminary results in premenopausal women with early breast cancer indicate that endocrine treatment with goserelin plus tamoxifen may be as effective as standard combination chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide-methotrexate-5-fluorouracil), but has significantly less acute toxicity. A number of large, randomized trials are now in progress to assess the potential role of goserelin as adjuvant therapy for early breast cancer.
Irreversible chemical programming of monoclonal aldolase antibody (mAb) 38C2 has been accomplished with β-lactam equipped mono- and bifunctional targeting modules, including a cyclic-RGD peptide linked to either the peptide (D-Lys6)-LHRH or another cyclic RGD unit and a small-molecule integrin inhibitor SCS-873 conjugated to (D-Lys6)LHRH. We also prepared monofunctional targeting modules containing either cyclic RGD or (D-Lys6)-LHRH peptides. Binding of the chemically programmed antibodies to integrin receptors α(v)β(3) and α(v)β(5) and to the luteinizing hormone releasing hormone receptor were evaluated. The bifunctional and bivalent c-RGD/LHRH and SCS-783/LHRH, the monofunctional and tetravalent c-RGD/c-RGD, and the monofunctional bivalent c-RGD chemically programmed antibodies bound specifically to the isolated integrin receptor proteins as well as to integrins expressed on human melanoma M21 cells. c-RGD/LHRH, SCS-783/LHRH, and LHRH chemically programmed antibodies bound specifically to the LHRH receptors expressed on human ovarian cancer cells. This approach provides an efficient, versatile, and economically viable route to high-valency therapeutic antibodies that target defined combinations of specific receptors. Additionally, this approach should be applicable to chemically programmed vaccines.
Advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer (EC) no longer amenable to surgery or radiotherapy is a life-threatening disease with limited therapeutic options left. Eighty percent of ECs express receptors for luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (LHRH), which can be targeted by AEZS-108 (zoptarelin doxorubicin acetate). This phase 2 trial was performed to assess the efficacy and safety of AEZS-108 in this group of patients.
Patients had FIGO (Fédération Internationale de Gynécologie et d’Obstétrique) III or IV or recurrent EC, LHRH receptor–positive tumor status, and at least had 1 measurable lesion (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors). Prior anthracycline therapy was not allowed. Patients received AEZS-108 as a 2-hour infusion on day 1 of a 21-day cycle. The treatment was continued for a maximum of 6 to 8 cycles. The primary end point was the response rate determined by the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors.
From April 2008 to November 2009, 44 patients were included in the study at 8 centers in Germany (AGO) and 3 centers in Bulgaria. Forty-three of these patients were eligible. Two (5%) patients had a complete remission, and 8 (18%) achieved a partial remission. Stable disease for at least 6 weeks was observed in 44%. The median time to progression was 7 months, and the median overall survival was 15 months. The most frequently reported grade 3 or 4 adverse effects were neutropenia (12%) and leucopenia (9%).
AEZS-108, an LHRH-agonist coupled to doxorubicin, has significant activity and low toxicity in women with advanced or recurrent LHRH receptor–positive EC, supporting the principle of receptor-mediated targeted chemotherapy.
Endometrial cancer; Targeted therapy; LHRH receptor; Clinical trial; Phase 2
Active targeting could increase the efficacy of anticancer drugs. Methotrexate-human serum albumin (MTX-HSA) conjugates, functionalized by luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) as targeting moieties, with the aim of specifically targeting the cancer cells, were prepared. Owing to the high expression of LHRH receptors in many cancer cells as compared to normal cells, LHRH was used as the targeting ligand in this study. LHRH was conjugated to MTX-HSA nanoparticles via a cross-linker. Three types of LHRH targeted nanoparticles with a mean particle size between 120–138 nm were prepared. The cytotoxicity of LHRH targeted and non-targeted nanoparticles were determined on the LHRH positive and negative cell lines. The internalization of the targeted and non-targeted nanoparticles in LHRH receptor positive and negative cells was investigated using flow cytometry analysis and fluorescence microscopy. The cytotoxicity of the LHRH targeted nanoparticles on the LHRH receptor positive cells were significantly more than non-targeted nanoparticles. LHRH targeted nanoparticles were also internalized by LHRH receptor positive cells significantly more than non-targeted nanoparticles. There were no significant differences between the uptake of targeted and non-targeted nanoparticles to the LHRH receptor negative cells. The active targeting procedure using LHRH targeted MTX-HSA nanoparticles could increase the anti-tumoral activity of MTX.
nanoparticles; drug targeting; conjugates; anti-cancer; human serum albumin; LHRH
Metastatic prostate cancer, which shows progression despite castration testosterone levels, was previously defined as hormone-refractory. This definition has recently been changed to the one presently used – castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Numerous fundamental studies have provided evidence that the development of hormone-refractory prostate cancer is constantly dependent on the concentration of androgens. The aim of the metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) treatment is currently to obtain the lowest possible androgen concentration. The effectiveness of such management has been proven by the results of clinical studies on the latest hormonal and chemotherapeutic medications. In the last two decades, new effective chemotherapeutics have become available on the market: abiraterone, enzalutamide, docetaxel, cabazitaxel, zoldronic acid, denosumab and alpharadin They significantly contribute to extending patients’ survival and to improving their quality of life. Therefore, the question arises whether using luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogues is still a necessary element of the therapy. A detailed analysis of study regimens involving the above-mentioned medications and of available publications supports the view that LHRH analogues are the basic strategy in the treatment of patients with mCRPC. All clinical trials evaluating new therapies still followed the principle of obtaining castration testosterone levels as a result of using LHRH analogues simultaneously with the new medications.
metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer; LHRH analogues; hormone therapy; chemotherapy
Previously, we have shown that 17β-estradiol (E2) induces an increase in firing activity and modifies the pattern of intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) oscillations with a latency less than 1 min in primate luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) neurons. A recent study also indicates that E2, the nuclear membrane impermeable estrogen, estrogen- dendrimer conjugate (EDC), and the plasma membrane impermeable estrogen, E2-BSA conjugate, all similarly stimulated LHRH release within 10 min of exposure in primate LHRH neurons, indicating that the rapid action of E2 is caused by membrane signaling. The results from a series of studies further suggest that the rapid E2 action in primate LHRH neurons appears to be mediated by GPR30. Whereas the estrogen receptor antagonist, ICI 182,780, neither blocked the E2-induced LHRH release nor the E2-induced changes in [Ca2+]i oscillations, E2 application to cells treated with pertussis toxin (PTX) failed to result in these changes in primate LHRH neurons. Moreover, knockdown of GPR30 in primate LHRH neurons by transfection with human siRNA for GPR30 completely abrogated the E2-induced changes in [Ca2+]i oscillations, whereas transfection with control siRNA did not. Finally, the GPR30 agonist, G1, resulted in changes in [Ca2+]i oscillations similar to those observed with E2. In this review the authors discuss the possible role of G-protein coupled receptors in the rapid action of estrogen in neuronal cells.
GnRH neurons; rapid action of estrogen; GPR30; GPCR; primates
The prostate secretes enzymes and nutrients to promote sperm motility. Recent reports suggest that the prostate may also secrete testosterone, which is believed to be a fuel for prostate tumour growth. The aim of this study was to determine if a difference in serum testosterone levels exists between men on luteinizing hormone releasing-hormone (LHRH) agonists who have undergone radical prostatectomy, radiation or hormone therapy as primary prostate cancer treatment.
Serum testosterone levels were evaluated in 165 consecutive prostate cancer patients using LHRH analogues for >3 months. We excluded patients receiving either radiation or chemotherapy at time of time of testosterone measurement. Patients were classified based on primary treatment: (1) radical prostatectomy; (2) radiation; or (3) primary hormone therapy. We used one-way ANOVA to compare testosterone levels. Pearson correlation was used to correlate testosterone with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and time on LHRH agonists. Multivariable linear regression was used to predict serum testosterone levels.
The median (interquartile range) serum testosterone levels were 1.4 (1–1.9), 1.3 (1–1.625) and 1.25 (0.9–1.525) nmol/L for radical prostatectomy, radiation and primary hormone therapy groups, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in testosterone levels between the groups (p = 0.3). No correlation was found between testosterone and PSA levels or time on LHRH (r = 0.02 and r = 0.01), respectively. Multivariable linear regression showed that none of the clinical variables were predictors of serum testosterone levels.
Our study suggests that primary treatment does not affect serum testosterone levels among men using LHRH analogues.
Analogues of luteinising hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) have recently been introduced as an alternative to surgical orchidectomy in prostate cancer, but there has been concern about the economic costs of long-term treatment. The paper presents a comparison of costs for LHRH analogues versus orchidectomy in patients with advanced prostate cancer. The cost for the surgical procedure was estimated using data on patients treated with orchidectomy in Stockholm County, Sweden, during 1981-86. Estimates of costs for treatment with a depot LHRH analogue was based on observed treatment times among patients with symptomatic prostate cancer in a British randomised clinical trial of medical castration versus surgical orchidectomy. The average cost for orchidectomy was estimated at 2,580 pounds i.e. 7-31% less than for treatment with a depot LHRH analogue (2,760 pounds-3,380 pounds) assuming a mean treatment time in the range 19-23 months. The most cost-effective policy for castration was found to be initial treatment with an LHRH analogue followed by deferred orchidectomy after about 2 years among long-term responders. This policy would obviate the need for surgery in about 85% of the patients and the average cost (1,900 pounds) would be about 26% lower compared to that of a policy of primary orchidectomy in all patients.
We sought to compare the rate of return of testosterone levels and sexual function in men with prostate cancer receiving longer acting, 3-month preparation of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist (L-LHRH-A) versus shorter acting, 1-month preparation of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist (S-LHRH-A).
Methods and Materials:
Men with low to intermediate risk localized prostate cancer were randomized to either L-LHRH-A (2–3 month duration LHRH-A) or S-LHRH-A (6-1 month duration LHRH-A) of androgen suppression therapy (AST) and prostate brachytherapy using iodine-125 radioisotopes. Serum total testosterone levels and PSA were recorded every 2 months for 2 years.
A planned target sample size of 100 was not achieved due to insufficient accrual. A total of 55 patients were randomized and 46 were used for analysis. The median time to recovery of testosterone to baseline levels (calculated from end of AST) was 8 and 4 months in the L-LHRH-A and S-LHRH-A arms, respectively (p = 0.268). The median time to testosterone recovery to lower limit of reference range was 4 and 2 months respectively (p = 0.087).
This randomized study, which failed to reach accrual target, showed a trend towards more rapid recovery of testosterone levels using shorter acting LHRH-A. Another randomized study would be required to validate these findings. Currently, there is insufficient evidence to recommend the use of shorter acting LHRH-A as a means of providing more rapid recovery of testosterone levels.
Although paclitaxel (PTX) is used with platinum as the first line chemotherapy regimen for ovarian cancer, its clinical efficacy is often limited by severe adverse effects. Ultrasound targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD) technique holds a great promise in minimizing the side effects and maximizing the therapeutic efficacy. However, the technique typically uses non-targeted microbubbles with suboptimal efficiency. We synthesized targeted and PTX-loaded microbubbles (MBs) for UTMD mediated chemotherapy in ovarian cancer cells. PTX-loaded lipid MBs were coated with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analogue (LHRHa) through a biotin-avidin linkage to target the ovarian cancer A2780/DDP cells that express the LHRH receptor. In the cell culture studies, PTX-loaded and LHRHa targeted MBs (TPLMBs) in combination with ultrasound (300 kHz, 0.5 W/cm2, 30 seconds) demonstrated anti-proliferative activities of 41.30 ± 3.93%, 67.76 ± 2.45%, and 75.93 ± 2.81% at 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours after the treatment, respectively. The cell apoptosis ratio at 24 hours after the treatment is 32.6 ± 0.79 %, which is significantly higher than other treatment groups such as PTX only and no-targeted PTX-loaded MBs (NPLMBs) with or without ultrasound mediation. Our experiment verifies the hypothesis that ultrasound mediation of ovarian cancer targeted and drug loaded MBs will enhance the PTX therapeutic efficiency.
Paclitaxel; ultrasound; microbubble; ovarian cancer; apoptosis
Tumor-targeting multifunctional liposomes simultaneously loaded with magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (MIONs) as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent and anticancer drug, mitoxantrone (Mit), were developed for targeted cancer therapy and ultrasensitive MRI. The gonadorelin-functionalized MION/Mit-loaded liposome (Mit-GML) showed significantly increased uptake in luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (LHRH) receptor overexpressing MCF-7 (Michigan Cancer Foundation-7) breast cancer cells over a gonadorelin-free MION/Mit-loaded liposome (Mit-ML) control, as well as in an LHRH receptor low-expressing Sloan-Kettering HER2 3+ Ovarian Cancer (SK-OV-3) cell control, thereby leading to high cytotoxicity against the MCF-7 human breast tumor cell line. The Mit-GML formulation was more effective and less toxic than equimolar doses of free Mit or Mit-ML in the treatment of LHRH receptors overexpressing MCF-7 breast cancer xenografts in mice. Furthermore, the Mit-GML demonstrated much higher T2 enhancement than did Mit-ML controls in vivo. Collectively, the study indicates that the integrated diagnostic and therapeutic design of Mit-GML nanomedicine potentially allows for the image-guided, target-specific treatment of cancer.
multifunctional liposome; magnetic resonance imaging; theranostic nanomedicine; mitoxantrone; gonadorelin
Long-acting luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists, such as goserelin, have been used for locally advanced and metastatic prostate cancer for many years and are the main forms of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Acting on pituitary LHRH receptors, they initially stimulate a transient rise in serum follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and LH. Long-term administration of an LHRH analogue will eventually lead to down regulation of LHRH receptors, thus suppressing FSH and LH secretion. This in turn suppresses testosterone production hence achieving and maintaining androgen deprivation. This case highlights the potential anomaly of a sustained elevated serum testosterone in the context of newly diagnosed locally advanced prostate cancer with a co-existing pituitary macroadenoma after administration of LHRH analogues. Alternative methods of androgen deprivation must be considered in such patients.
We examined the serum levels of testosterone (T) (total and bioavailable) dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in men receiving treatment with luteinizing hormone releasing-hormone (LHRH) agonists for metastatic prostate cancer. In doing this, we want to determine the efficacy of these agents in lowering T levels and whether a possible relationship exists between PSA values, as a surrogate measure of tumour activity, and hormone levels.
This was a single centre prospective study of patients on LHRH agonists. Of all the 100 eligible patients, 31 did not qualify (10 were receiving their first injection, 13 were on intermittent hormonal therapy, 7 refused to enter the trial and 1 patient’s blood sample was lost). Therefore in total, 69 patients were included in the final analysis. Each patient had their blood sample drawn immediately before the administration of a LHRH agonist. The new proposed criteria of <20 ng/dL (0.69 nmol/L) of total testosterone was used to define optimal levels of the hormone in this population.
Of the 69 patients, 41 were on goserelin injections, 21 on leuprolide, and 7 on buserelin. There was no statistical difference in hormone levels between any of the medications. Overall, 21% of patients failed to reach optimal levels of total testosterone. PSA levels were higher in this group. There was a statistically significant correlation between PSA and testosterone levels, as well as between PSA and FSH. Serum levels of PSA, however, did not correlate with those of bioavailable testosterone.
Failure to reach optimal levels of testosterone occurs in patients on LHRH agonist therapy. Higher PSA values are more commonly found in patients with suboptimal levels of testosterone receiving LHRH analogs, but the clinical importance of this finding has not been established. There is no significant difference with respect to hormonal levels reached among patients on a variety of LHRH agonists. Total testosterone determinations should be considered in patients on LHRH agonist therapy, particularly when the PSA values begin to rise since it may lead to further beneficial hormonal manipulation.
Management of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is challenging due to lack of efficacious therapy. Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogs appear to act directly on cells based on the LHRH receptors on human prostate adenocarcinoma cells. We explored anticancer activity of a cytotoxic analog of LHRH, AEZS-108, consisting of LHRH agonist linked to doxorubicin. Nude mice bearing DU-145 tumors were used to compare antitumor effects of AEZS-108 with its individual constituents or their unconjugated combination. The tumor growth inhibition of conjugate was greatest among treatment groups (90.5% inhibition vs. 41% by [D-Lys(6)]LHRH+DOX). The presence of LHRH receptors on DU-145 cells was confirmed by immunocytochemistry. In vitro, AEZS-108 significantly inhibited cell proliferation (61.2% inhibition) and elevated apoptosis rates (by 46%). By the detection of the inherent doxorubicin fluorescence, unconjugated doxorubicin was seen in the nucleus; the conjugate was perinuclear and at cell membrane. Autophagy, visualized by GFP-tagged p62 reporter, was increased by AEZS-108 (7.9-fold vs. 5.3-fold by DOX+[D-Lys(6)]LHRH. AEZS-108 more effectively increased reactive oxygen species (ROS, 2-fold vs. 1.4-fold by DOX+[D-Lys(6)]LHRH) and levels of the apoptotic regulator p21 in vivo and in vitro. We demonstrate robust inhibitory effects of the targeted cytotoxic LHRH analog, AEZS-108, on LHRHR positive castration-resistant prostate cancer cells.
cytotoxic peptide analog; targeted therapy; GnRH; reactive oxygen species; hormone-naive prostate cancer; CRPC; LHRH agonist
Precocious puberty is a significant child health problem, especially in girls, because 95% of cases are idiopathic. Our earlier studies demonstrated that low-dose levels of manganese (Mn) caused precocious puberty via stimulating the secretion of luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone (LHRH). Because glial-neuronal communications are important for the activation of LHRH secretion at puberty, we investigated the effects of prepubertal Mn exposure on specific glial-derived puberty-related genes known to affect neuronal LHRH release. Animals were supplemented with MnCl2 (10 mg/kg) or saline by gastric gavage from day 12 until day 22 or day 29, then decapitated, and brains removed. The site of LHRH release is the medial basal hypothalamus (MBH), and tissues from this area were analyzed by real-time PCR for transforming growth factor α (TGFα), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) messenger RNA levels. Protein levels for IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) were measured by Western blot analysis. LHRH gene expression was measured in the preoptic area/anteroventral periventricular (POA/AVPV) region. In the MBH, at 22 days, IGF-1 gene expression was increased (p < 0.05) with a concomitant increase (p < 0.05) in IGF-1R protein expression. Mn also increased (p < 0.01) COX-2 gene expression. At 29 days, the upregulation of IGF-1 (p < 0.05) and COX-2 (p < 0.05) continued in the MBH. At this time, we observed increased (p < 0.05) LHRH gene expression in the POA/AVPV. Additionally, Mn stimulated prostaglandin E2 and LHRH release from 29-day-old median eminences incubated in vitro. These results demonstrate that Mn, through the upregulation of IGF-1 and COX-2, may promote maturational events and glial-neuronal communications facilitating the increased neurosecretory activity, including that of LHRH, resulting in precocious pubertal development.
manganese; IGF-1; COX-2; puberty
To conduct a phase I study determining the safety, pharmacokinetics and preliminary efficacy of EP-100, a novel anticancer drug consisting of natural luteinizing-hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) ligand linked to a cationic membrane-disrupting peptide.
Patients with advanced, solid tumors, positive for LHRH receptor by immunohistochemistry (IHC), received EP-100 weekly or twice weekly for 3 of 4 weeks in a 28 day cycle. A modified Fibonacci 3 + 3 dose-escalation schema was used. Initial cohorts received EP-100 once weekly (cohorts 1–7, 0.6–7.8 mg/m2, n = 21). Later cohorts received doses twice weekly (cohorts 7–11, 7.8–40 mg/m2, n = 16).
LHRH-receptor expression was confirmed by IHC in 52 of 89 consented patients; 37 patients received at least 1 dose. Cohorts receiving doses of 5.2 mg/m2 and above achieved therapeutic levels from in vitro studies Clearance was rapid (mean half-life 7.1 ± 3.8 to 15.9 ± 3.6 min). The maximum-tolerated dose was not reached at the highest dose evaluated (40 mg/m2 twice weekly). Grade 2 increase in alanine aminotransferase/serum aspartate aminotransferase in one patient resolved, did not recur upon re-treatment, and was not observed in other patients. The only drug-related adverse event was transient infusion-related dermatologic reactions (10 patients). No complete or partial tumor responses were observed; seven patients had stable disease of 16 weeks.
EP-100 was well tolerated in patients with advanced, LHRH-receptor-expressing solid tumors. The recommended phase 2 dose is 40 mg/m2 twice weekly for 3 of 4 weeks per cycle.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00280-014-2424-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
LHRH receptor; EP-100; Cytolytic peptide; Cytolytic peptide conjugate; Advanced/metastatic solid tumors
A sterically stabilized, mitoxantrone-loaded liposome, tailored to target luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) receptor overexpressing cells, was developed to promote the efficiency of intracellular delivery of mitoxantrone through receptor-mediated endocytosis. Liposomes were prepared by lipid film hydration and an ultrasound dispersion process. Thiolated gonadorelin with affinity for the LHRH receptor was chemically coupled to N-[(3-maleimide-1-oxopropyl) aminopropyl polyethylene glycol-carbamyl] distearoyl-l-phosphatidyl-ethanolamine via a thioether bond and subsequently inserted into polyethylene glycol-grafted liposomes. The liposome was characterized in terms of its size, ligand density, drug loading, and leakage properties. The targeting nature and antitumor effects of the liposomes were evaluated in vitro using cultured MCF-7 breast cancer cells. A protein assay of ligand coupling to the liposomal surface indicated that more than 60% of the LHRH peptides were inserted into the liposome bilayer. Up to 1.0 mg/mL of stable liposomal mitoxantrone loading was achieved, with approximately 98% of this being entrapped within the liposomes. In vitro cell culture studies revealed that the gonadorelin-modified liposomes bound to their target cells had significantly higher affinity and better antitumor efficiency than generic drug-loaded liposomes. These events were presumed to occur through specific interactions of the LHRH with its cognate receptors on the cell surface. It was concluded that the targeting properties of the delivery system would potentially improve the therapeutic benefits of mitoxantrone, as compared with nontargeted liposomes.
mitoxantrone; liposome; luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone receptor; tumor targeting
Our laboratory has reported changes in luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) from the hypothalamus following nitrous oxide (N2O) exposure. LHRH augments LH release, which in turn causes ovulation. This study evaluated how N2O disrupts ovulation and the possible resulting infertility. Adult virgin female rats (N = 64) were housed with a 12 h:12 h light cycle. Daily vaginal smears were taken and only rats exhibiting two consecutive normal 4-day ovulatory cycles were used. Thirty-two rats were placed in an environmental chamber and exposed to a mix of hydrated 30% N2O and compressed air delivered at 1.6 L/min for 8 h/day for 4 days (one cycle); controls received compressed air. All rats exposed to N2O exhibited disrupted cycles following the first day of the 4-day exposure. From a group of 12 N2O-exposed rats, 11 went into constant proestrus (day of ovulatory surge) for up to 3 weeks. Control rats cycled normally. Following each exposure, eight rats were perfused, brains sectioned, and LHRH cells identified by immunocytochemistry. Eight control rats also underwent this procedure. A threefold increase in LHRH cells was noted in N2O rats. In addition, 12 rats received 30% N2O for 4 days, followed by mating with proven male breeders for 4 days, as were controls. Six of 12 N2O rats and 12 of 12 control rats gave birth. Contrary to previous reports, no significant difference was noted in litter size or weight. The constant proestrus seen after N2O exposure is due to disruption of LHRH cells in the hypothalamus (blocked LHRH release). It is this disruption of LHRH, and therefore ovulation, which results in infertility.
The G-protein coupled receptor, GPR54, and its ligand, a KiSS-1 derived peptide kisspeptin-54, appear to play an important role in the mechanism of puberty. This study measures the release of kisspeptin-54 in the stalk-median eminence (S-ME) during puberty and examines its potential role in the pubertal increase in luteinizing hormone releasing hormone-1 (LHRH-1) release in female rhesus monkeys. First, developmental changes in release of kisspeptin-54 and LHRH-1 were assessed in push-pull perfusate samples obtained from the S-ME of prepubertal, early pubertal, and midpubertal female rhesus monkeys. Whereas LHRH-1 levels in 10-min intervals had been measured previously for other experiments, kisspeptin-54 levels in 40-min pooled samples were newly measured by RIA. The results indicate that a significant increase in kisspeptin-54 release occurred in association with the pubertal increase in LHRH-1 release and that a nocturnal increase in kisspeptin-54 release was already observed in prepubertal monkeys and continued through the pubertal period. Second, we measured kisspeptin-54 release in the S-ME of midpubertal monkeys at 10-min intervals using a microdialysis method. Kisspeptin-54 release in the S-ME was clearly pulsatile with an interpulse interval of ~60 min and approximately 75% of kisspeptin-54 pulses were correlated with LHRH-1 pulses. Finally, the effect of kisspeptin-10 on LHRH-1 release was examined with the microdialysis method. Kisspeptin-10 infusion through a microdialysis probe significantly stimulated LHRH-1 release in a dose-dependent manner. Collectively, the results are consistent with the hypothesis that kisspeptin plays a role in puberty.
LHRH-1; GnRH; kisspeptin; puberty; primates
Ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD) technique can be potentially used for non-viral delivery of gene therapy. Targeting wild-type p53 (wtp53) tumor suppressor gene may provide a clinically promising treatment for patients with ovarian cancer. However, UTMD mediated gene therapy typically uses non-targeted microbubbles with suboptimal gene transfection efficiency. We synthesized a targeted microbubble agent for UTMD mediated wtp53 gene therapy in ovarian cancer cells. Lipid micro-bubbles were conjugated with a Luteinizing Hormone–Releasing Hormone analog (LHRHa) via an avidin– biotin linkage to target the ovarian cancer A2780/DDP cells that express LHRH receptors. The microbubbles were mixed with the pEGFP-N1-wtp53 plasmid. Upon exposure to 1 MHz pulsed ultrasound beam (0.5 W/cm2) for 30 s, the wtp53 gene was transfected to the ovarian cancer cells. The transfection efficiency was (43.90 ± 6.19)%. The expression of wtp53 mRNA after transfection was (97.08 ± 12.18)%. The cell apoptosis rate after gene therapy was (39.67 ± 5.95)%. In comparison with the other treatment groups, ultrasound mediation of targeted microbubbles yielded higher transfection efficiency and higher cell apoptosis rate (p < 0.05). Our experiment verifies the hypothesis that ultrasound mediation of targeted microbubbles will enhance the gene transfection efficiency in ovarian cancer cells.
Ovarian cancer; Ultrasound; Microbubbles; Gene transfection; LHRHa peptide