Twenty-six of 100 cases of gastric adenocarcinoma contained argyrophil cells. All these tumours were carcino-embryonic antigen positive and 13 contained variable amounts of gastro-enteropancreatic peptides and amines. There was no significant difference in mucin type, extent or incidence of intestinal metaplasia between tumours with and those without endocrine cells. The prognosis for both groups was similarly poor, contrasting with that for carcinoid and atypical carcinoid. Endocrine cell hyperplasia was evident in the adjacent mucosa in some of the cases of endocrine positive tumours. There was no association between achlorhydria and the presence of endocrine cells in the tumours. The origin of the neoplastic endocrine cells remains speculative, occurring either as a mutation of a single stem cell or as a synchronous malignant transformation of two epithelial cell types exposed to a particular carcinogenic factor(s). Adenocarcinomas containing endocrine cells appear to be as biologically aggressive as the usual adenocarcinomas of the stomach and therefore should be treated in a like manner.