Paper| Volume 30, ISSUE 11, P1682-1687, 1994

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Somatostatin receptor expression in lung cancer

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      Experimental evidence suggests that somatostatin analogues may have a role to play in the management of lung tumours. We evaluated membrane preparations of nine small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cell lines and of tumour samples from 3 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 1 patient with an atypical carcinoid and another with a bronchial carcinoid for the presence of specific binding sites for RC-160, a potent growth inhibitory octapeptide analogue of somatostatin. Specific binding was noted on six of nine SCLC lines. Radio-receptor assay on the cell line NCI H 69 showed evidence of two specific binding sites for RC-160, one with high affinity and the other with low affinity. Binding sites were also found on all five tumour samples. Scatchard analysis indicated the presence of a single class of receptors with high affinity in each case. Histological assessment of the resected specimens before binding assay showed them to be comprised of tumour cells and necrotic tissue, stroma and/or inflammatory cells. Therefore, the specific binding of RC-160 may be to tissues other than the tumour cells. In 3 patients, from whom the tumour samples were obtained, radiolabelled somatostatin analogue scintigraphy using [111In] pentetreotide was performed prior to surgery. In all cases, the radiolabel localised the disease. This study demonstrates the presence of specific binding sites for RC-160 in SCLC. Furthermore, the detection of specific binding in vitro and in vivo in NSCLC and intrapulmonary carcinoids demonstrates that these tumours contain cells which express specific binding sites for somatostatin. These results suggest that RC-160 may have a role to play as a therapeutic agent in lung cancer.


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