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The insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system plays an important role in regulating normal cell proliferation and survival. However, the IGF system is also implicated in many malignancies, including breast cancer. Preclinical studies indicate several IGF blocking approaches, such as monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors, have promising therapeutic potential for treating diseases. Uniformly, phase III clinical trials have not shown the benefit of blocking IGF signaling compared to standard of care arms. Clinical and laboratory data argue that targeting Type I IGF receptor (IGF1R) alone may be insufficient to disrupt this pathway as the insulin receptor (IR) may also be a relevant cancer target. Here, we review the well-studied role of the IGF system in regulating malignancies, the limitations on the current strategies of blocking the IGF system in cancer, and the potential future directions for targeting the IGF system.


Jingran Cao, Douglas Yee. Disrupting Insulin and IGF Receptor Function in Cancer. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Jan 08;22(2)

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PMID: 33429867

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