hPG80 Main Scientific Publications

Last updated: August 3, 2020


The oncogenic and druggable hPG80 (Progastrin) is overexpressed in multiple cancers and detected in the blood of patients

Dec, 2019

EBiomedicine by THE LANCET déc. 2019

Authors : Benoit You Frédéric Mercier Eric Assenat Carole Langlois-Jacques Olivier Glehen Julien Soulé et al.

In colorectal cancer, hPG80 (progastrin) is released from tumor cells, promotes cancer stem cells (CSC) self-renewal and is detected in the blood of patients. Because the gene GAST that encodes hPG80 is a target gene of oncogenic pathways that are activated in many tumor types, we hypothesized that hPG80 could be expressed by tumors from various origins other than colorectal cancers, be a drug target and be detectable in the blood of these patients. […]

Research in context

Evidence before study

The National Cancer Institute recently highlighted the need forbiomarkers to improve early detection of cancers, monitor treatment effects and detect disease relapses. Therefore, the identification of a new tumor blood-based marker with broad expression across tumor types might have a significant impact on diagnostic and follow-up of patients. hPG80 (progastrin) was shown to be over-expressed in human colorectal tumor cells. Interestingly, GAST is a direct target of the Wnt/ß-catenin/Tcf4 oncogenic pathway. Since this pathway is activated inmany other cancers and plays a major function in cancer stem cells survival, we hypothesized that hPG80 (i) might be expressed by other types of cancers, and would be present in the blood of patients with tumors different from colorectal cancers and (ii) might be a drug target for various type of cancers.

Added value of this study

Here we show that hPG80 is expressed by the tumor and present in the blood of 11 different types of cancer patients. Two retrospective kinetic studies where blood samples were collected regularly from cancer patients undergoing different treatments revealed strong associations between longitudinal hPG80  . .....

concentrations and anti-cancer treatment efficacy. We provide data showing the decrease of hPG80 after surgery in a cohort of patients with peritoneal involvements from gastroin-testinal cancers, treated with peri-operative chemotherapy regimens and cytoreductive surgery. We also show the correlationbetween hPG80 levels and standard imaging in a cohort of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, managed with local or systemic treatments, including patients with no detectable levels of alpha-fetoprotein. Finally, we show that targeting hPG80 with our humanized antibody decreases self-renewal capacity of cancer stem cells from various origins.

Implications of all available evidence

The technology we developed to detect hPG80 in the blood isr obust, reliable and inexpensive, making this test easy to implement by oncologists. This technology could be used to improve early cancer diagnosis and treatment efficacy monitoring. Furthermore, in this study we show that our anti-hPG80 therapeutic antibody, that was initially found to target the Wnt pathway and decrease self-renewal capacity in cancer stem cells from colorectal cancer, is envisioned to have the same effect on tumors from other origins.


Direct Comparison of Diagnostic Performance of 9 Quantitative Fecal Immunochemical Tests for Colorectal Cancer Screening

Sep, 2017

Gastroenterology, 2017 September

Authors : Anton Gies1, Katarina Cuk2, Petra Schrotz-King1, Hermann Brenner

A variety of fecal immunochemical tests (FITs) for hemoglobin (Hb) are used in colorectal cancer screening. It is unclear to what extent differences in reported sensitivities and specificities reflect true heterogeneity in test performance or differences in study populations or varying pre-analytical conditions. We directly compared the sensitivity and specificity values with which 9 quantitative (laboratory-based and point-of-care) FITs detected advanced neoplasms (AN) in a single colorectal cancer screening study. […]


Targeting the Wnt pathway and cancer stem cells with anti-progastrin humanized antibodies:
a major breakthrough for K-RAS mutated colorectal cancer treatment

Jun, 2017

Clinical Cancer Research, 2017 June

Authors : Alexandre Prieur, Monica Cappellini, Guillaume Habif, Marie-Paule Lefranc, Thibault Mazard, Eric Morency, Jean-Marc Pascussi, .../... Chris Planque, Eric Assenat, Frédéric Bibeau, Jean-François Bourgaux, Pascal Pujol, Alain Sézeur, Marc Ychou and Dominique Joubert

Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) suffer from disease relapse mainly due to cancer stem cells (CSC). Interestingly, they have an increased level of blood progastrin, a tumor-promoting peptide essential for[…]


Nature reviews, 2017 May

Authors : William G. Kaelin Jr

An alarming number of papers from laboratories nominating new cancer drug targets contain findings that cannot be reproduced by others or are simply not robust enough to justify drug discovery efforts. This problem probably has many causes, including an underappreciation of the danger of being misled by off-target effects when using pharmacological or genetic perturbants in complex biological assays. This danger is particularly acute when, as is often the case in cancer pharmacology, the biological phenotype being measured is a […]


Global, Regional, and National Cancer Incidence, Mortality, Years of Life Lost, Years Lived With Disability, and Disability-Adjusted Life-years for 32 Cancer Groups, 1990 to 2015: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study.

Dec, 2016

JAMA Oncol. 2016 Dec 3.

Authors : Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration, Fitzmaurice, Allen, Barber, Barregard, Bhutta, Brenner, Dicker .../... Zaidi, Zaki, Zenebe, Murray, Naghavi.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Current estimates on the burden of cancer are needed for cancer control planning. OBJECTIVE: 

To estimate mortality, incidence, years lived with disability (YLDs), years of life lost (YLLs), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 32 cancers in 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. […]


Autocrine Secretion of Progastrin Promotes the Survival and Self-Renewal of Colon Cancer Stem-like Cells.

Jun, 2016

Cancer Res. 2016 June

Authors : Giraud, Failla, Pascussi, Lagerqvist, Ollier, Finetti, Bertucci, Ya, Gasmi, Bourgaux, Prudhomme, Mazard, Ait-Arsa, Houhou, Birnbaum, Pélegrin, Vincent, Ryall, Joubert, Pannequin, Hollande.

Subpopulations of cancer stem-like cells (CSC) are thought to drive tumor progression and posttreatment recurrence in multiple solid tumors. However, the mechanisms that maintain stable proportions of self-renewing CSC within heterogeneous tumors under homeostatic conditions remain poorly understood. Progastrin is a secreted peptide that exhibits tumor-forming potential in colorectal cancer, where it regulates pathways known to modulate colon CSC behaviors. In this study, we investigated the role of progastrin in […]


The evolving roles of canonical WNT signaling in stem cells and tumorigenesis: implications in targeted cancer therapies

Feb, 2016

Lab Invest. 2016 February

Yang, Wang, Zhang, Wang, Nan, Li, Zhang, Mohammed, Haydon, Luu, Bi, He.

he canonical WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway governs a myriad of biological processes underlying the development and maintenance of adult tissue homeostasis, including regulation of stem cell self-renewal, cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. WNTs are secreted lipid-modified glycoproteins that act as short-range ligands to activate receptor-mediated signaling pathways. The hallmark of the […]


Progastrin a new pro-angiogenic factor in colorectal cancer

Jun, 2015

Oncogene. 2015 June

Authors : Najib S1, Kowalski-Chauvel A1, Do C1, Roche S2, Cohen-Jonathan-Moyal E3, Seva C1.

Angiogenesis is essential in tumor progression and metastatic process, and increased angiogenesis has been associated with poor prognosis and relapse of colorectal cancer (CRC). VEGF has become the main target of anti-angiogenic therapy. However, most patients relapse after an initial response or present a resistance to the treatment. Identification of new pro-angiogenic factors may help to improve anti-angiogenic therapy. In this study, we demonstrated that the pro-hormone progastrin (PG), over-expressed in[…]


Wnt Signaling in Cancer

May, 2012

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2012 May

Authors : Paul Polakis

Aberrant regulation of the Wnt signaling pathway is a prevalent theme in cancer biology. From the earliest observation that Wnt overexpression could lead to malignant transformation of mouse mammary tissue to the most recent genetic discoveries gleaned from tumor genome sequencing, the Wnt pathway continues to evolve as a central mechanism in cancer biology. This article summarizes the evidence supporting a role for Wnt signaling in human cancer. This includes a review of  […]


Novel roles of gastrin

Jul, 2014

J Physiol. 2014 Jul 15

Authors : Dimaline, Varro

The existence of the hormone gastrin in the distal stomach (antrum) has been known for almost 110 years, and the physiological function of this amidated peptide in regulating gastric acid secretion via the CCK2 receptor is now well established. In this brief review we consider important additional roles of gastrin, including regulation of genes encoding proteins such as […]


The wnt target jagged-1 mediates the activation of notch signaling by progastrin in human colorectal cancer cells.

Aug, 2009

Cancer Res. 2009 August

Authors : Julie Pannequin, Caroline Bonnans, Nathalie Delaunay, Joanne Ryan, Jean-François Bourgaux, Dominique Joubert and Frédéric Hollande

The Wnt and Notch signaling pathways are both abnormally activated in colorectal cancer (CRC). We recently showed that progastrin depletion inhibited Wnt signaling and increased goblet cell differentiation of CRC cells. Here, we show that progastrin down-regulation restores the expression by CRC cells of the early secretory lineage marker Math-1/Hath-1 due to […]


Gastric secretion

Nov, 2013

Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2013 Nov

Authors : Shijian Chu;Mitchell Schubert;

The review summarizes the past year's literature, basic science and clinical, regarding the neural, paracrine, hormonal, and intracellular regulation of gastric acid secretion.[…]


Beta-catenin/Tcf-4 inhibition after progastrin targeting reduces growth and drives differentiation of intestinal tumors

Nov, 2007

Gastroenterology. 2007 Nov.

Authors : Pannequin J1, Delaunay N, Buchert M, Surrel F, Bourgaux JF, Ryan J, Boireau S, Coelho J, Pélegrin A, Singh P, Shulkes A, Yim M, Baldwin GS, Pignodel C, Lambeau G, Jay P, Joubert D, Hollande F.

Aberrant activation of the beta-catenin/Tcf-4 transcriptional complex represents an initiating event for colorectal carcinogenesis, shifting the balance from differentiation toward proliferation in colonic crypts. Here, we assessed whether endogenous progastrin, encoded by a target gene of this complex, was […]


Gastrin is a target of the beta-catenin/TCF-4 growth-signaling pathway in a model of intestinal polyposis

Aug, 2000

J Clin Invest. 2000 August

Authors : Theodore J. Koh,1 Clemens J. Bulitta,1 John V. Fleming,1 Graham J. Dockray,2 Andrea Varro,2 and Timothy C. Wang1

Mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor gene occur in most colorectal cancers and lead to activation of β-catenin. Whereas several downstream targets of β-catenin have been identified (c-myc, cyclin D1, PPARδ), the precise functional significance of many of these targets has not been examined directly using genetic approaches. Previous studies have shown that  […]


Expression but incomplete maturation of progastrin in colorectal carcinomas

Apr, 1993

Gastroenterology. 1993 April

Authors : Van Solinge WW1, Nielsen FC, Friis-Hansen L, Falkmer UG, Rehfeld JF.

To evaluate the hypothesis that gastrin is a local growth factor in colonic carcinomas, the expression of gastrin messenger RNA (mRNA) and peptides were examined in five human colon carcinoma cell lines, 12 solid colon carcinomas, and normal colonic tissue... […]

logo PROGASTRIN cancer control 8,85x1,58

A synthesis of the knowledge of progastrin is available on the website of the Progastrin cancer control association.

#GI ASCO 2020

628 Poster Session (Board #G9) : HPG80 (Progastrin), a novel blood-based biomarker for detection of neuroendocrine neoplasms.


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3037 / 29 - Progastrin, a novel ubiquitous cancer blood biomarker for early detection and monitoring.


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2289 / 18 - Prognostic impact of progastrin levels in blood compared to MSKCC based clinical prognosis in metastatic renal cell cancer patients


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2294 / 23 - Plasma progastrin level as a predictive and prognostic biomarker in advanced prostate cancer


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2222 / 11 - Progastrin a new biomarker for hepatocellular cancer patient follow-up


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119P - Progastrin, a new blood biomarker for the diagnostic and therapeutic monitoring, in gastro-intestinal cancers: A BIG-RENAPE project.


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It has been shown that hPG80 (Circulating Progastrin) is produced by all cancer cells across all stages, but in quantities 100 to 1000 times higher by cancer stem cells which are considered to be primarily responsible for recurrence and metastasis. 

hPG80 is released from the tumor and becomes detectable in the blood, making hPG80 the only blood biomarker that not only detect the presence but also the activity of the tumor.

16 different cancers have been tested, the 16 were positive. Of these 16 cancers, 11 have been published to date.

Detection and assay of hPG80 can provide Physicians with new information that can help them:

  • Evaluate treatment efficacy,

  • Monitor risk of relapse,

  • Assess Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) risk,

  • Diagnose cancers which have no biomarker and for at-risk populations, in order to detect early enough the tumor, easily located in these populations.

ECS-Progastrin is a subsidiary of Progastrine Invest SCSp (Cancer Control Funding Fund)  11 côte d'Eich, L1450, Luxemburg City - Grand Duchy of Luxemburg













Progastrine Invest SCSp and its subsidiaries:

  • focus on innovation in cancer diagnosis, localization, follow-up and treatment,

  • hold the rights to the first hPG80 (Circulating Progastrin) assay which is now available,

  • hold the rights to the cancer therapy project with an anti-hPG80 antibody.


For ethical reasons and out of respect for practitioners, health institutions, populations and regulations in force in all countries where they operate, Progastrine Invest SCSp and its subsidiaries pay extreme attention to the information they publicly provide.


The management of Progastrine Invest SCSp subsidiaries and their scientific committee would like to remind you that only information published on the official communication media of the group's companies can be considered as confirmed and authorised.

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