Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(3):283-291. doi:10.7150/ijbs.14952 This issue


The Role of Gastrin and CCK Receptors in Pancreatic Cancer and other Malignancies

Jill P. Smith1✉, Lionel K. Fonkoua2, Terry W. Moody3

1. Department of Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA
2. Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
3. National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

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Smith JP, Fonkoua LK, Moody TW. The Role of Gastrin and CCK Receptors in Pancreatic Cancer and other Malignancies. Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(3):283-291. doi:10.7150/ijbs.14952. Available from

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The gastrointestinal (GI) peptide gastrin is an important regulator of the release of gastric acid from the stomach parietal cells and it also plays an important role in growth of the gastrointestinal tract. It has become apparent that gastrin and its related peptide cholecystokinin (CCK) are also significantly involved with growth of GI cancers as well as other malignancies through activation of the cholecystokinin-B (CCK-B) receptor. Of interest, gastrin is expressed in the embryologic pancreas but not in the adult pancreas; however, gastrin becomes re-expressed in pancreatic cancer where it stimulates growth of this malignancy by an autocrine mechanism. Strategies to down-regulate gastrin or interfere with its interface with the CCK receptor with selective antibodies or receptor antagonists hold promise for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and other gastrin - responsive tumors.

Keywords: peptide gastrin