Inhibition by Gnrh Antagonists of Breast and Endometrial Cancer Cell Growth Induced by Estrogen and Insulin-Like Growth Factors

  • Yoav Sharoni
  • Joseph Levy
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


Breast and endometrial carcinoma are common female malignancies in Western countries. Estrogen-dependent and independent tumors are present in both diseases. Endocrine therapy, which usually consists of antiestrogens or progestins, is frequently used in the treatment of primary, recurrent, or metastic diseases, but with only limited success. Several recent studies have suggested that synthetic analogues of the hypothalamic hormone, GnRH, have a therapeutic effect on sex steroid-dependent tumors such as carcinoma of the prostate1 and breast 2,3 The rationale for this treatment is that continuous administration of GnRH agonists causes inhibition of gonadotropin release from the pituitary and thus reduces steroid production by the ovaries or testes. Although GnRH agonists cause inhibition of pituitary and gonadal function, it recently became clear that an antagonist may be advantageous in the treatment of cancer as compared with the available superagonists. While repeated administration of the GnRH agonist is required to inhibit pituitary and gonadal function, the same effect may be obtained by a single administration of the GnRH antagonist 4 The inhibition of gonadotropin release by the GnRH antagonist commences immediately after its administration, while agonists frequently cause a transient stimulation of pituitary and gonadal function, resulting in a temporary clinical “flare-up” of the disease.5


GnRH Agonist GnRH Antagonist GnRH Analogue Mammary Tumor Cell GnRH Receptor 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoav Sharoni
    • 1
  • Joseph Levy
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Biochemistry Unit Soroka Medical Center of Kupat Holim Faculty of Health Sciences Ben-GurionUniversity of the Negev Beer ShevaIsrael

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