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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 173507, 7 pages
Research Article

Neurotensin Branched Peptide as a Tumor-Targeting Agent for Human Bladder Cancer

1Department of Medical Biotechnologies, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy
2Department of Urology, University of Florence, Careggi Hospital, 50139 Florence, Italy
3Department of Chemistry, University of Florence, 50019 Florence, Italy

Received 22 December 2014; Accepted 20 February 2015

Academic Editor: Leonardo A. Calderon

Copyright © 2015 Jlenia Brunetti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite recent advances in multimodal therapy, bladder cancer still ranks ninth in worldwide cancer incidence. New molecules which might improve early diagnosis and therapeutic efficiency for tumors of such high epidemiological impact therefore have very high priority. In the present study, the tetrabranched neurotensin peptide NT4 was conjugated with functional units for cancer-cell imaging or therapy and was tested on bladder cancer cell lines and specimens from bladder cancer surgical resections, in order to evaluate its potential for targeted personalized therapy of bladder cancer. Fluorophore-conjugated NT4 distinguished healthy and cancer tissues with good statistical significance . NT4 conjugated to methotrexate or gemcitabine was cytotoxic for human bladder cancer cell lines at micromolar concentrations. Their selectivity for bladder cancer tissue and capacity to carry tracers or drugs make NT4 peptides candidate tumor targeting agents for tracing cancer cells and for personalized therapy of human bladder cancer.