Octreotide and pasireotide effects on medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) cells growth, migration and invasion

Published on Monday, 11 January 2021


Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a rare neuroendocrine neoplasm of the parafollicular thyroid C cells. Although somatostatin receptors are expressed by MTCs, treatment with octreotide has shown poor efficacy, whereas recently pasireotide has demonstrated antiproliferative effects in persistent postoperative MTCs.

Aim of this study was to test the effects of octreotide and pasireotide on MTC cells proliferation, cell cycle proteins expression, MAPK activation, apoptosis, calcitonin secretion, migration and invasion in TT cell line as well as in primary MTC cultured cells.

Our results showed that both octreotide and pasireotide reduced TT cell proliferation (-35.2 ± 12.1%, p < 0.001, and -25.3 ± 24.8%, p < 0.05, at 10-8 M, respectively), with concomitant inhibition of ERK phosphorylation and cyclin D1 expression. This cytostatic effect was accompanied by a proapoptotic action, with an increase of caspase3/7 activity of 1.5-fold.

Moreover, both octreotide and pasireotide inhibited cell migration (-50.9 ± 11.3%, p < 0.01, and -40.5 ± 17%, p < 0.05, respectively) and invasion (-61.3 ± 35.1%, p < 0.05, and -49.7 ± 18%, p < 0.01, respectively). No effect was observed on calcitonin secretion.

We then tried to extend these observations to primary cultures (n = 5). Octreotide and/or pasireotide were effective in reducing cells proliferation in 3 out of 5 tumors, and to induce cell apoptosis in 1 out of 3 MTCs.

Both octreotide and pasireotide were able to reduce cell migration in all MTC tested. SST2, SST3 and SST5 were expressed in all MTC, with a tendency to increased expression of SST2 in RET mutated vs wild type MTCs.

In agreement, inhibition of mutated RET in TT cells reduced SST2 expression. In conclusion, we demonstrated that octreotide and pasireotide inhibited cell proliferation and invasiveness in a subset of MTC, supporting their potential use in the control of tumor growth.


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See also:

- Official Web Site: The Di Bella Method;


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

- 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;

- 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.