Some tumors are responsive to hormone manipulation. Some gastric and colonic adenocarcinomas from both humans and animals have specific gastrin receptors. A transplantable mouse colon adenocarcinoma cell line (MC-26) contains gastrin receptors; growth of MC-26 colon cancer in vivo is stimulated by pentagastrin (PG). The purpose of this study was to determine whether a gastrin-receptor antagonist, proglumide (PGL), would inhibit growth of MC-26 colon cancer and prolong survival in tumor-bearing mice. Subcutaneous tumors were induced by injecting single-cell suspensions of MC-26 cells into 50 mice divided into 10/group. In Experiment 1, all mice received 1 X 10(5) tumor cells and treatment groups were divided as follows: Group A received intraperitoneal (IP) saline (0.2 ml tid beginning on day 1); B, IP, PGL (250 mg/kg tid) from day of tumor cell inoculation; and C, IP PGL (250 mg/kg tid) from day 7 after tumor implantation. In Experiment 2, mice were inoculated with half the number of tumor cells. Group I mice received saline and Group II received PGL in the same manner starting on day 1. Tumors were measured and all mice were sacrificed on day 23. In Experiment 1, mean tumor area in Group B (PGL-treated) was significantly smaller than Group A on days 11, 14, 17, and 21. Tumors of Group C were significantly smaller than controls on day 21. Survival of PGL-treated mice was significantly prolonged. In Experiment 2, mean tumor area, mean tumor weight, and tumor DNA and RNA content were significantly less in the PGL-treated group than control. It was concluded that growth of a gastrin-responsive colon cancer was inhibited and host survival was enhanced by treatment with a gastrin-receptor antagonist. Hormone manipulation may be a useful treatment for gastrointestinal cancers.