The activities of some of the enzymes participating in nucleotide metabolism were measured in cancerous and noncancerous gastric tissues from patients with gastric cancer. The enzyme activities measured were found to be higher in the cancerous tissues than in the non-cancerous tissues. Adenosine deaminase (ADA), 5'-nucleotidase (5'-NT), guanase (GUA) and cytidine deaminase (CD) activities in the cancerous tissues were 56.0 +/- 24.0, 45.0 +/- 20.0, 0.34 +/- 0.16 and 4.65 +/- 2.04, respectively. The activities in non-cancerous tissues were 13.2 +/- 6.0, 19.8 +/- 8.3, 0.12 +/- 0.06 and 1.65 +/- 0.8, respectively. Cancerous tissues consisted of 7 gastric tissues with Grade I-II and 8 tissues with Grade III-IV adeno cancer. Non-cancerous adjacent tissues were obtained from the same patients with Grade I-II cancer. There were no meaningful differences between enzyme activities of the gastric tissues with Grade I-II and Grade III-IV cancer. Enzyme activity ratios indicates that ADA activity increased by the highest amount relative to other enzyme activities in the cancerous tissues. In the correlation analysis, we found positive correlations between some of the enzyme activities in the cancerous tissues. Results suggest that increased activities of these enzymes might play a part in the accelerated nucleotide metabolism in the cancerous gastric tissues.