Gastrin-releasing peptide receptors (GRPRs), part of the bombesin (BBN) family, are aberrantly overexpressed in many cancers, including those of the breast, prostate, pancreas, and lung, and therefore present an attractive target for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Different bombesin analogs have been radiolabeled and used for imaging diagnosis, staging, evaluation of biochemical recurrence, and assessment of metastatic disease in patients with prostate cancer. Recently, interest has shifted from BBN-like receptor agonists to antagonists, because the latter does not induce adverse effects and demonstrate superior in vivo pharmacokinetics. We review the preclinical and clinical literatures on the use of GRPRs as targets for imaging and therapy of prostate cancer, with a focus on the newer developments and theranostic potential of GRPR peptides.
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