GnRH and steroids in cancer.

Salvatore Florio, Ugo Pagnini, Antonio Crispino, Carmen Pacilio, Luca Crispino, Antonio Giordano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gonadotropin-releasing-hormone (GnRH) analogues are synthetic compounds derived from decapeptide neurohormones (LHRH; LH/FSH-RH). They have a key role in hormone dependent cancer, particularly breast and prostate cancer. GnRH analogues produce an efficient inhibition of gonadotropins and sex steroid hormones. Their use in cancer therapy result in a, pharmacological castration (i.e. ovariectomy and orchiectomy), providing an androgen and estrogen ablation. GnRH exert an inhibitory action on the growth of hormone-dependent human and canine mammary tumor. Mammary tumors can produce growth factor that potentially could modulate their own proliferation in an autocrine fashion (i.e. TGF-alpha and TGF-beta or with a paracrine mechanism (i.e. EGF, IGF, FGF). The expression of EGF receptors is related in mammary tissues to the action of oestrogen and progesteron and to the presence of functional receptors for oestrogen (ER) and progesteron (PR). The present review elucidate the role of GnRH receptors in cancer and their connection with steroid hormones. Besides we showed the link between GnRH and signal transductions pathways: Estrogen-receptors, GnRH-receptors, EGF-receptors signal transduction pathways. A very tight link exists between steroid hormones and GnRH analogues both on central pituitary gonadal axis and on tumor receptors peripherically. This last mechanism could be explained either locally activating GnRH receptors or locally interacting with EGF receptor-Intracellular NitricOxide system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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