Background: Receptors for luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) found in prostate cancers might be used for targeting of chemotherapeutic agents. Doxorubicin derivative 2-pyrrolinodoxorubicin (AN-201) can be linked to carrier analog [D-Lys6]LH-RH to form the targeted cytotoxic analog of LH-RH, AN-207.
Methods: We evaluated the effects of AN-207 and its components on the growth of LH-RH receptor-positive human prostate cancer PC-82 xenografted into nude mice. Analog AN-207, radical AN-201, carrier [D-Lys6]LH-RH, or a mixture of [D-Lys6]LH-RH and AN-201 were injected intravenously once at doses of 200 nmol/kg. Tumor growth, body weight, total WBC counts, and serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) were determined. Receptors for LH-RH on PC-82 tumors were evaluated, and the expression of mRNA for LH-RH receptors was assessed by RT-PCR.
Results: Eight weeks after administration of cytotoxic analog AN-207, there was a 67.8% reduction in tumor volume (P < 0.01), 70.7% decrease in tumor burden (P < 0.01), and 36.5% decrease in serum PSA levels (P < 0.01) as compared with controls. Only one of 8 animals treated with AN-207 died. Cytotoxic radical AN-201 caused a 34.2% (not significant, NS) reduction in tumor volume with no change in serum PSA, and killed 3 of 8 mice due to toxicity. Carrier [D-Lys6]LH-RH and the unconjugated mixture of [D-Lys6]LH-RH and AN-201 had no effect on tumor growth. LH-RH receptors as well as the expression of their mRNA were found in PC-82 tumors.