A colonic adenocarcinoma with argentaffin cells. An immunoperoxidase study demonstrating the presence of numerous neuroendocrine products

Cancer. 1983 Apr 15;51(8):1483-9. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19830415)51:8<1483::aid-cncr2820510822>3.0.co;2-j.


A well-differentiated colonic adenocarcinoma containing large numbers of gastrointestinal neuroendocrine cells is presented. The presence of neurosecretory granules was confirmed by electron microscopy. Immunocytochemistry showed large numbers of serotonin-containing tumor cells and lesser numbers of somatostatin, gastrin, motilin, secretin and neurotensin-containing cells. Some of these hormones are not normally present in the colon in significant numbers of cells. The presence of several cell types within a single tumor supports the concept that the normal epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal mucosa are derived from a common endodermal stem cell. There exists a spectrum of tumors ranging from the classical adenocarcinoma to the classical carcinoid, and this report identifies the position of this case within that spectrum.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / ultrastructure
  • Aged
  • Carcinoid Tumor / metabolism
  • Carcinoid Tumor / pathology
  • Carcinoid Tumor / ultrastructure
  • Chromaffin System / ultrastructure*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / ultrastructure
  • Enterochromaffin Cells / ultrastructure*
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / analysis
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Neurotensin / analysis
  • Serotonin / analysis
  • Somatostatin / analysis


  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Serotonin
  • Neurotensin
  • Somatostatin