Profiling gastrin-releasing peptide receptor in prostate tissues: clinical implications and molecular correlates

Prostate. 2012 Feb;72(3):318-25. doi: 10.1002/pros.21434. Epub 2011 Jul 7.


Background: The gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) has emerged as an attractive target for both therapeutic and diagnostic appliances, but has only insufficiently been characterized in the human prostate so far. The aim of this study is to profile GRPR in a large cohort and correlate it with clinicopathologic and molecular parameters.

Methods: Benign and malignant (primary carcinoma, metastases, and castration-resistant prostate cancer) prostate samples from 530 patients were analyzed immunohistochemically for GRPR, androgen receptor and Cyclin D1 expression. Staining intensity was assessed assigning a semiquantitative score to each sample.

Results: Normal prostate tissues were mostly GRPR negative, significantly higher expression rates were seen in primary carcinomas and metastases. Significant inverse correlations were found for GRPR and increasing Gleason score, PSA value, and tumor size. A stratified Kaplan-Meyer analysis for GRPR and high AR expression shows a significant prognostic advantage for high GRPR expression, whereas GRPR expression alone shows no independent prognostic value. Highly significant correlations for GRPR, AR, and Cyclin D1 were found.

Conclusions: Our data show that GRPR is overexpressed in prostate cancer, particularly of lower grade and smaller size. These findings constitute a caveat for the use of GRPR as a target for diagnostic or therapeutic approaches to high grade or progressed prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Castration
  • Cyclin D1 / genetics
  • Cyclin D1 / metabolism
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prostate / metabolism*
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism
  • Receptors, Bombesin / genetics
  • Receptors, Bombesin / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Receptors, Bombesin
  • Cyclin D1