Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 114, Issue 6, pp 588–592 | Cite as

Blood histamine and solid malignant tumors

  • C. Michael Moriarty
  • Judith L. Stucky
  • Kevin W. Hamburger
  • Kashinath D. Patil
  • John F. Foley
  • Robert R. Koefoot
Original Papers Clinical Oncology or Epidemiology


A clinical study was performed to determine whether patients with a newly diagnosed solid malignant tumor manifest an alteration in whole-blood histamine levels. Our results indicate that such patients have blood histamine nearly three times greater than either normal, healthy individuals or noncancerous disease controls. Following surgical removal of the tumor, blood histamine levels remained high for 2 months and then dropped close to the normal range 3 months after surgery. Basophil counts did not change significantly in the presence of a malignant tumor. Patients receiving either chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and terminal cancer patients who were no longer receiving any therapy except for pain control had blood histamine within or below the normal range. By analogy with animals studies, we suggest that nascent histamine synthesis is increased in the presence of a developing tumor. The clinical usefullness of this observation remains to be determined.

Key words

Cancer Histamine Tumors 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bartholeyns J, Bouclier M (1984) Involvement of histamine in growth of mouse and rat tumors anti-tumoral properties of monofluoremethylhistidine, an enzyme-activated irreversible inhibitor of histidine decarboxylase. Cancer Res 44:639–645PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bartholeyns J, Fozard JR (1985) Role of histamine in tumor development. Trends Pharmacol Sci 6:123–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baylin SB, Luk GD (1981) Diamine oxidase activity in human disease. In: Morris DR, Marton LJ (eds) Polyamines in biology and medicine. Dekker, New York, p 385Google Scholar
  4. Beaven MA, Robinson-White A, Roderick NB, Kauffman GL (1982) The demonstration of histamine release in clinical conditions: a review of past and present assay procedures. Klin Wochenschr 60:873–881PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bloskma N, Van de Wiel P, Hofhuis F, Kuper F, Willers J (1984) Role of histamine in the anti-tumor activity of endotoxin. Cancer Immunol Immunother 17:33–37PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bruce C, Weatherstone R, Seaton A, Taylor WH (1976) Histamine levels in plasma, blood and urine in severe asthma and the effect of corticosteroid treatment. Thorax 31:724–729PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Burtin C, Noirot C, Giroux C, Scheinmann P (1986) Decreased skin response to intradermal histamine in cancer patients. J Allergy Clin Immunol 78:83–89PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Burtin C, Noirot C, Paupe J, Scheinmann P (1983) Decreased blood histamine levels in patients with solid malignant tumors. Br J Cancer 47:367–372PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Burtin C, Scheinmann P, Salomon JC, Lespinatns G, Canu P (1982) Decrease in tumor growth by injections of histamine or serotonin in fibrosarcoma-bearing mice: influence of H1 and H2 histamine receptors. Br J Cancer 45:54–60PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Burtin C, Scheinmann P, Salomon J, Lespinats G, Frayssinet C, Lebel B, Canu P (1981) Increased tissue histamine in tumor-bearing mice and rats. Br J Cancer 43:684–688PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Curry JJ (1946) The action of histamine on the respiratory tract in normal and asthmatic subjects. J Clin Invest 25:785–791Google Scholar
  12. Dixon WJ (1950) Analysis of extreme values. Ann Math Statist 21:488–506Google Scholar
  13. Emami S, Gespach C, Bodere H (1985) Selective disappearance of histamine H2 receptor activity in the human gastric cancer cell line HGT-1 after short-term or chronic treatment by histamine or its H2 antagonists. Agents Actions 16:195–198PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Graham HT, Lowry OH, Wheelwrigth F, Lenz MA, Parish HH Jr (1955) Distribution of histamine among leukocytes and platelets. Blood 10:467–481PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Heath ID (1961) Staining of sulphated mucopolysaccharides. Nature 191:1370–1371PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Hirsch SR, Rimm AA, Zastrow JE (1974) The absolute peripheral basophil count. J Allergy Clin Immunol 53:303–310PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Ishikawa E, Toki A, Moriyama T, Matsouka Y (1970) A study on the induction of histidine decarboxylase in tumor-bearing rat. J Biochem (Tokyo) 68:347–358Google Scholar
  18. Ishizaka T, DeBernado R, Tomioka H, Lichtenstein LM, Ishizaka K (1972) Identification of basophil granulocytes as a site of allergic histamine release. J Immunol 108:1000–1008PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Lynch NR, Salomon JC (1977) Tumour-associated inhibition of immediate sensitivity reactions in mice. Immunology 32:645–650PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Moore TC, Koppelmann LE, Lemmi CAE (1978) Decreases in histamine forming enzyme activity of non-metastasizing fibrosarcomas in hamsters with progressive tumor growth. Ann Surg 188:175–179PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Maslinski C, Kierska D, Sasiak K, Adamas B (1984) Histamine and its catabolism in tumor-bearing rat and mouse. Agents Actions 14:497–500PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Matsuzaki S, Suzuki M, Hamana K, Itoh K (1978) Elevated levels of polyamines and histamine in adenocarcinomas of the thyroid. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 47:1038–1041PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Nolte H, Skov PS, Loft H (1987) Stimulation of histamine synthesis from tumour cells by concanavalin A and A 23187. Agents Actions 20:291–294PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Roher HD, Lorenz W, Lennartz H, Kusche J, Dietz W, Gerdes B, Parkin JV (1982) Plasma histamine levels in patients in the course of several standard operations: Influence of anaesthesia, surgical trauma and blood transfusion. Klin Wochenschr 60:926–934PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Saavedra-Delgado AMP, Matthews KP, Matthews KP, Pan PM, Kay DR, Muilenberg ML (1980) Dose-sesponse studies of the suppression of whole blood histamine and basophil counts by prednisome. J Allergy Clin Immunol 66:464–471PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Scheinmann P, Lebel B, Lynch NR, Salomon JC, Paupe JR, Burtin C (1979) Histamine levels in blood and other tissues of male and female C3H mice: II. Mice carrying a 3-methylcholanthrene-induced tumor. Agents Actions 9:95–96PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Shaff RE, Beaven MA (1979) Increased sensitivity of the enzymatic isotopic assay of histamine: measurement of histamine in plasma and serum. Anal Biochem 94:425–430PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Taguchi Y, Tsuyama K, Watanabe T, Wada H, Kitamura Y (1982) Increase in histidine decarboxylase activity in skin of genetically mast cell-deficient W/Wv mice afger application of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate: Evidence for the presence of histamine-producing cells without basophilic granules. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 79:6837–6841PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Michael Moriarty
    • 1
  • Judith L. Stucky
    • 1
  • Kevin W. Hamburger
    • 1
  • Kashinath D. Patil
    • 2
  • John F. Foley
    • 3
  • Robert R. Koefoot
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of Nebraska College of Medicine OmahaNebraskaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family PracticeUniversity of Nebraska College of Medicine OmahaNebraskaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Nebraska College of Medicine OmahaNebraskaUSA
  4. 4.NebraskaUSA

Personalised recommendations