Serum immunoreactive and bioactive lactogenic hormones in advanced breast cancer patients treated with bromocriptine and octreotide

E Anderson, J E Ferguson, H Morten, S M Shalet, E L Robinson, A Howell

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6 patients with advanced breast cancer who had failed first and second line endocrine therapies received bromocriptine (1.25-2.5 mg twice daily per os) and octreotide (Sandostatin) via a continuous subcutaneous infusion (200-400 micrograms/24 h) until disease progression. Pre-treatment 24-h profiles of serum lactogenic hormones and their response to standard provocative tests were established and repeated at 2 weeks, and 3 and 6 months (or at tumour progression). Immunoreactive prolactin (ir-PRL), growth hormone (ir-GH) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) were measured by radioimmunoassay and bioactive lactogenic hormone levels (BLH) were estimated using the Nb2 rat lymphoma cell bioassay. Before treatment all patients showed episodic secretion of ir-PRL, ir-GH and BLH and provocative stimuli resulted in a peak of ir-GH and BLH maximal between 60 and 90 min after injection but no change in ir-PRL. After 2 weeks of treatment, ir-PRL levels were reduced to below the limit of detection in all 6 patients. Peaks of ir-GH and BLH were still apparent, although much reduced. Immunoreactive PRL continued to be profoundly suppressed in 3 of the 4 patients who remained on treatment for 3 to 6 months. Small pulses of ir-GH were still detectable in these patients with which BLH was, again, well correlated. After 2 weeks of treatment, serum IGF-I levels were reduced by 9-54% of the pretreatment values and generally remained suppressed throughout treatment. Clinically, 4 patients did not show disease progression for periods of up to 6 months and side-effects were minimal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Bromocriptine
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Middle Aged
  • Octreotide
  • Prolactin
  • Time Factors
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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