Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) functions as a key neuroendocrine regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. In addition to the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, GnRH and its receptor have been detected in other reproductive tissues including the gonads, placenta and tumours arising from these tissues. Recently, a second form of GnRH (GnRH-II) and type II GnRH receptor have been found in normal ovarian surface epithelium and neoplastic counterparts. The two types of GnRH may play an important role as an autocrine/paracrine regulator of reproductive functions and ovarian tumour growth. In this review, the distribution and potential roles of GnRH-I/-II and their GnRH receptors in the ovarian cells and ovarian cancer will be discussed.
S K Kang, K-C Choi, H-S Yang, and P C K Leung
K-M Rau, H-Y Kang, T-L Cha, S A Miller, and M-C Hung
Breast and prostate cancer are the most well-characterized cancers of the type that have their development and growth controlled by the endocrine system. These cancers are the leading causes of cancer death in women and men, respectively, in the United States. Being hormone-dependent tumors, antihormone therapies usually are effective in prevention and treatment. However, the emergence of resistance is common, especially for locally advanced tumors and metastatic tumors, in which case resistance is predictable. The phenotypes of these resistant tumors include receptorpositive, ligand-dependent; receptor-positive, ligand-independent; and receptor-negative, ligand-independent. The underlying mechanisms of these phenotypes are complicated, involving not only sex hormones and sex hormone receptors, but also several growth factors and growth factor receptors, with different signaling pathways existing alone or together, and with each pathway possibly linking to one another. In this review, we will discuss the potential mechanisms of antihormonetherapy resistance in breast and prostate cancers, especially focusing on the similarities and differences of these two cancers. We will also discuss novel agents that have been applied in clinical practice or with clinical potential in the future.