An increase in circulating concentrations of gastrin or gastrin precursors such as progastrin and glycine-extended gastrin has been proposed to promote the development of colorectal carcinomas.
Professor Graham Baldwin and colleagues from Australia investigated whether or not circulating gastrin concentrations were increased in patients with an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Patients were divided according to their risk into 5 groups.
The 5 groups included familial adenomatous polyposis, hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, cluster of common colorectal cancers, personal history and/or family history of adenomatous polyps or colorectal cancer and controls.
|Patients with a history of adenomatous polyps had higher circulating concentrations of total gastrin |
|Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
Radioimmunoassay with 4 region-specific gastrin antisera was used to measure progastrin, glycine-extended gastrin (gastrin-gly), amidated gastrin (gastrin-amide), and total gastrin in peripheral blood taken at the time of colonoscopy.
Compared with the control group, the team found that familial adenomatous polyposis patients had significantly higher median values of total gastrin and gastrin-amide.
The research team found that patients with a personal or family history of adenomatous polyps or colorectal cancer also had higher circulating concentrations of total gastrin compared with controls.
The team noted that while patients from all groups who presented with an adenomatous polyp on the day of colonoscopy had higher concentrations of total gastrin, progastrin, and gastrin-amide than patients without polyps.
Professor Baldwin's team concludes, "Concentrations of gastrin precursors are increased in particular groups with an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer."