Gastrointestinal hormones as potential adjuvant treatment of exocrine pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Int J Pancreatol. 1998 Dec;24(3):169-80. doi: 10.1007/BF02788419.


Conclusion: Gastrointestinal hormones and their antagonists can alter the growth of pancreatic adenocarcinoma in vitro and in vivo. The potential clinical benefit of this approach deserves further study.

Background: Epithelial cell growth is normally under hormonal control. Hormones also affect the growth of many epithelial cancers, and this fact is used to modify tumor growth. Pancreatic epithelial cell growth is under the influence of gastrointestinal hormones. This article reviews experiments designed to determine the effect of gastrointestinal hormones on the growth of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Methods: Eighty-eight articles were identified from a Medline search using the terms pancreatic adenocarcinoma and the individual names of gastrointestinal hormones. The experimental design and results of these studies are reviewed.

Results: In general, somatostatin, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, pancreatic polypeptide, and pancreastatin inhibit pancreatic adenocarcinoma growth. Cholecystokinin, secretin, bombesin, gastrin, EGF, TGF-alpha, insulin, and IGF-1 have a growth-promoting effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / adverse effects
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Growth Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Growth Inhibitors