Inhibition of Human Colonic Epithelial Cell Proliferation in Vivo and in Vitro by Calcium

Michel Buset, Martin Lipkin, Sidney Winawer, Shanti Swaroop, Eileen Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


Nine patients at high risk of developing colon cancer were placed on daily p.o. supplementation of 1500 mg of calcium for 4–8 weeks. The colonic epithelial cells in six of these patients showed a statistically significant decrease in their [3H]thymidine labeling indices in tissue culture so that they resembled those of patients at low risk of developing colon cancer. The three nonresponders had similar labeling indices before and after calcium supplementation. Biopsies from each of nine high-risk patients exhibited a decrease in proliferation when they were cultured in vitro with a high level of CaCl2 (2.2 mM compared with the 0.1 mM optimum value for proliferation). Two adenomas and two carcinomas showed a different pattern of response than normal cells, exhibiting no inhibition of growth at 2.2 mM CaCl2. These data indicate that the growth inhibition induced by high levels of extracellular calcium levels is lost at a stage in tumor development before cells become malignant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5426-5430
Number of pages5
JournalCancer research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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