Bombesin Receptor Family Activation and CNS/Neural Tumors: Review of Evidence Supporting Possible Role for Novel Targeted Therapy

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Sep 1;12:728088. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.728088. eCollection 2021.


G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are increasingly being considered as possible therapeutic targets in cancers. Activation of GPCR on tumors can have prominent growth effects, and GPCRs are frequently over-/ectopically expressed on tumors and thus can be used for targeted therapy. CNS/neural tumors are receiving increasing attention using this approach. Gliomas are the most frequent primary malignant brain/CNS tumor with glioblastoma having a 10-year survival <1%; neuroblastomas are the most common extracranial solid tumor in children with long-term survival<40%, and medulloblastomas are less common, but one subgroup has a 5-year survival <60%. Thus, there is an increased need for more effective treatments of these tumors. The Bombesin-receptor family (BnRs) is one of the GPCRs that are most frequently over/ectopically expressed by common tumors and is receiving particular attention as a possible therapeutic target in several tumors, particularly in prostate, breast, and lung cancer. We review in this paper evidence suggesting why a similar approach in some CNS/neural tumors (gliomas, neuroblastomas, medulloblastomas) should also be considered.

Keywords: bombesin; central nervous system tumor; gastrin releasing peptide; gastrin-releasing peptide; glioma; medulloblastoma; neuroblastoma; neuromedin B.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / genetics
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glioma / drug therapy
  • Glioma / genetics
  • Glioma / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / trends*
  • Multigene Family
  • Neuroblastoma / drug therapy
  • Neuroblastoma / genetics
  • Neuroblastoma / metabolism
  • Receptors, Bombesin / agonists*
  • Receptors, Bombesin / genetics
  • Therapies, Investigational / methods
  • Therapies, Investigational / trends


  • Receptors, Bombesin