We observed in five adenocarcinomas that norepinephrine as well as nerve fibers were absent from tumor tissue. The number of nerve fibers in normal tissue neighboring the tumor was normal. In contrast, norepinephrine concentration was decreased in normal tissue immediately surrounding tumor and increased in a stepwise fashion with the distance from tumor. Since there is evidence that some catecholamines possess antitumor activity, we suggest that depletion of catecholamines and perhaps other neurotransmitters in normal tissue neighboring a tumor may be of importance for invasion and accelerated malignant growth.
Supported by the Danish Medical Research Council.