Repurposing of Bromocriptine for Cancer Therapy

Published on Tuesday, 11 December 2018


Bromocriptine is an ergot alkaloid and dopamine D2 receptor agonist used to treat Parkinson's disease, acromegaly, hyperprolactinemia, and galactorrhea, and more recently diabetes mellitus. The drug is also active against pituitary hormone-dependent tumors (prolactinomas and growth-hormone producing adenomas).

We investigated, whether bromocriptine also inhibits hormone-independent and multidrug-resistant (MDR) tumors. We found that bromocriptine was cytotoxic towards drug-sensitive CCRF-CEM, multidrug-resistant CEM/ADR5000 leukemic cells as well as wild-type or multidrug-resistant ABCB5-transfected HEK293 cell lines, but not sensitive or BCRP-transfected multidrug-resistant MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells.

Bromocriptine strongly bound to NF-κB pathway proteins as shown by molecular docking and interacted more strongly with DNA-bound NF-κB than free NF-κB, indicating that bromocriptine may inhibit NF-κB binding to DNA.

Furthermore, bromocriptine decreased NF-κB activity by a SEAP-driven NF-κB reporter cell assay. The expression of MDR-conferring ABC-transporters (ABCB1, ABCB5, ABCC1, and ABCG2) and other resistance-mediating factors (EGFR, mutated TP53, and IκB) did not correlate with cellular response to bromocriptine in a panel of 60 NCI cell lines. There was no correlation between cellular response to bromocriptine and anticancer drugs usually involved in MDR (e.g., anthracyclines, Vinca alkaloids, taxanes, epipodophyllotoxins, and others).

COMPARE analysis of microarray-based mRNA expression in these cell lines revealed that genes from various functional groups such as ribosomal proteins, transcription, translation, DNA repair, DNA damage, protein folding, mitochondrial respiratory chain, and chemokines correlated with cellular response to bromocriptine.

Our results indicate that bromocriptine inhibited drug-resistant tumor cells with different resistance mechanisms in a hormone-independent manner.

As refractory and otherwise drug-resistant tumors represent a major challenge to successful cancer chemotherapy, bromocriptine may be considered for repurposing in cancer therapy.


About this publication.

See also:

- Official Web Site: The Di Bella Method;


- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Bromocriptine and/or Cabergoline);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Cyclophosphamide 50mg tablets and/or Hydroxyurea 500mg tablets, one or two per day);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Calcium, 2 grams per day, orally);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Somatostatin, Octreotide, Sandostatin LAR, analogues and/or derivatives);

- Somatostatin in oncology, the overlooked evidences - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;

- Publication, 2018 Jul: Over-Expression of GH/GHR in Breast Cancer and Oncosuppressor Role of Somatostatin as a Physiological Inhibitor (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2018 Sep: The over-expression of GH/GHR in tumour tissues with respect to healthy ones confirms its oncogenic role and the consequent oncosuppressor role of its physiological inhibitor, somatostatin: a review of the literature (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2019 Aug: The Entrapment of Somatostatin in a Lipid Formulation: Retarded Release and Free Radical Reactivity (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2019 Sep: Effects of Somatostatin and Vitamin C on the Fatty Acid Profile of Breast Cancer Cell Membranes (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2019 Sep: Effects of somatostatin, curcumin, and quercetin on the fatty acid profile of breast cancer cell membranes (from Di Bella's Foundation);

- Publication, 2020 Sep: Two neuroendocrine G protein-coupled receptor molecules, somatostatin and melatonin: Physiology of signal transduction and therapeutic perspectives (from Di Bella's Foundation);


- The Synergism of Somatostatin, Melatonin, Vitamins Prolactin and Estrogen Inhibitors Increased Survival, Objective Response and Performance Status In 297 Cases of Breast Cancer;

- Complete objective response, stable for 5 years, with the Di Bella Method, of multiple-metastatic carcinoma of the breast;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonin, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma;

- A retrospective observational study on cases of anaplastic brain tumors treated with the Di Bella Method: A rationale and effectiveness;

- Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme (grade IV – WHO 2007): a case of complete objective response achieved by means of the concomitant administration of Somatostatin and Octreotide – Retinoids – Vitamin E – Vitamin D3 – Vitamin C – Melatonin – D2 R agonists (Di Bella Method – DBM) associated with Temozolomide;

- The Di Bella Method DBM improved survival objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 23 tumours of the head and neck;

- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Long-Lasting Remission with Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Somatostatin, Bromocriptine, Retinoids, Melatonin, and ACTH;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients with low performance status;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in chemotherapy-pretreated patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma and low performance status;

- Observations on the Report of a case of pulmonary adenocarcinoma with lymph node, hepatic and osseus metastasis;

- Neuroblastoma: Complete objective response to biological treatment;

- Oesophageal squamocellular carcinoma: a complete and objective response;

- Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: clinical records on 17 patients treated with Di Bella's Method;

- The Di Bella Method Increases by the 30% the survival rate for Pancreas tumors and for this reason should be proposed as first line therapy for this type of cancer;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) in the treatment of prostate cancer: a preliminary retrospective study of 16 patients and a review of the literature.

Repurposing of Bromocriptine for Cancer Therapy - Supplementary Material

{edocs}Repurposing of Bromocriptine for Cancer Therapy - Supplementary Material.pdf,711,840,link{edocs}