The in vitro growth response of primary human colorectal and gastric cancer cells to gastrin

Int J Cancer. 1989 Apr 15;43(4):692-6. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910430425.


A series of 31 colorectal and 13 gastric primary human tumours were screened for their growth response to human gastrin-17 in vitro, as assessed by 75Se-seleno-methionine incorporation. Fifty-five percent of colorectal and 69% of gastric tumours showed a significant trophic response to the hormone. The responses were achieved at physiological gastrin concentrations (post-prandial circulating gastrin levels) in 35% of colorectal and 55% of gastric tumours. Lymphocytes from tumour-associated lymph nodes showed no response to the hormone and "normal" mucosal cells (obtained from the resection margin of the surgical specimen) showed lower mean levels of 75Se-seleno-methionine uptake (colorectal: 110%; gastric: 119%, expressed as a percentage of the control) when compared to tumours (colorectal: 151%; gastric: 147%). The small number of well differentiated and/or Dukes' stage A colorectal tumours examined were gastrin-responsive, but all the responsive gastric tumours were poorly differentiated. With respect to ploidy, 89% of diploid and 67% of aneuploid colorectal tumours responded trophically to gastrin. Patients with colorectal or gastric tumours may benefit from treatment with gastrin antagonists.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Gastric Mucosa / cytology
  • Gastric Mucosa / drug effects
  • Gastrins / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / drug effects
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Ploidies / drug effects
  • Selenomethionine
  • Stomach Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Gastrins
  • Selenomethionine