High expression of gastrin-releasing peptide receptors in the vascular bed of urinary tract cancers: promising candidates for vascular targeting applications

Fleischmann, Achim; Waser, Beatrice; Reubi, Jean-Claude (2009). High expression of gastrin-releasing peptide receptors in the vascular bed of urinary tract cancers: promising candidates for vascular targeting applications. Endocrine-related cancer, 16(2), pp. 623-33. Bristol: BioScientifica Ltd. 10.1677/ERC-08-0316

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Tumoral gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) receptors are potential targets for diagnosis and therapy using radiolabeled or cytotoxic GRP analogs. GRP-receptor overexpression has been detected in endocrine-related cancer cells and, more recently, also in the vascular bed of selected tumors. More information on vascular GRP-receptors in cancer is required to asses their potential for vascular targeting applications. Therefore, frequent human cancers (n = 368) were analyzed using in vitro GRP-receptor autoradiography on tissue sections with the (125)I-[Tyr(4)]-bombesin radioligand and/or the universal radioligand (125)I-[d-Tyr(6), beta-Ala(11), Phe(13), Nle(14)]-bombesin(6-14). GRP-receptor expressing vessels were evaluated in each tumor group for prevalence, quantity (vascular score), and GRP-receptor density. Prevalence of vascular GRP-receptors was variable, ranging from 12% (prostate cancer) to 92% (urinary tract cancer). Different tumor types within a given site had divergent prevalence of vascular GRP-receptors (e.g. lung: small cell cancer: 0%; adenocarcinoma: 59%; squamous carcinoma: 83%). Also the vascular score varied widely, with the highest score in urinary tract cancer (1.69), moderate scores in lung (0.91), colon (0.88), kidney (0.84), and biliary tract (0.69) cancers and low scores in breast (0.39) and prostate (0.14) cancers. Vascular GRP-receptors were expressed in the muscular vessel wall in moderate to high densities. Normal non-neoplastic control tissues from these organs lacked vascular GRP-receptors. In conclusion, tumoral vessels in all evaluated sites express GRP-receptors, suggesting a major biological function of GRP-receptors in neovasculature. Vascular GRP-receptor expression varies between the tumor types indicating tumor-specific mechanisms in their regulation. Urinary tract cancers express vascular GRP-receptors so abundantly, that they are promising candidates for vascular targeting applications.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology

UniBE Contributor:

Fleischmann, Achim; Waser, Beatrice and Reubi-Kattenbusch, Jean-Claude


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health






BioScientifica Ltd.




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:08

Last Modified:

14 Oct 2019 17:44

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/29974 (FactScience: 165561)

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