Physiological roles of enterohormones such as secretion, absorption and digestion were supported by clinical data. Overexpression of cholecystokinin (CCK), neurotensin (NT) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) receptors occur in gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies. The aim of the paper was to compare plasma levels of CCK, peptide YY (PYY), VIP and NT in patients with gastrointestinal malignancies and healthy controls. The study included 80 patients (37 men and 43 women) with GI malignancies (20 with gastric and 60 with colorectal cancers). Median age of the patients was 62.9 years (range: 40-85 years). Control group was comprised of 30 healthy persons with median age 59.8 years (range: 40-82 years). Fasting plasma concentrations of CKK, PYY, NT, and VIP were determined at rest, using ELISA kits for automated systems. Comparative analysis of enterohormone levels in patients with various types of gastrointestinal malignancies demonstrated presence of some cancer-specific alterations. Patients with gastric cancers presented with lower plasma concentrations of CCK than healthy controls and individuals from colorectal cancers (p = 0.02). The highest plasma concentrations of neurotensin was found in colorectal cancer patients in comparison to gastric (p = 0.02). The plasma levels of VIP observed in gastric cancer group were lower than in colorectal cancer patients (p = 0.01). Patients with GI malignancies may present with tumor-specific alterations in plasma enterohormone levels.
Keywords: Cholecystokinin (CCK); Gastrointestinal cancer; Neurotensin (NT); Peptide YY; Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP).
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