Two previous studies have shown higher circulating gastrin levels in subjects with colonic neoplasia than in colonoscopy-negative controls. In this much larger study, sera were collected from fasting subjects undergoing colonoscopy. Colonoscopy with biopsy classified participants as having colonic adenomas (N = 139), colon carcinoma (N = 29), or controls without colonic neoplasia (N = 150). Frozen, stored sera were later analyzed for gastrin by radioimmunoassay. Serum gastrin values were no higher in subjects with colonic adenomas or carcinoma than in colonoscopy-negative controls. We conclude that elevated serum gastrin levels play little, if any, role in the initiation of colonic neoplasia.