Is there a role for IGF-1 in the development of second primary cancers?

Thurkaa Shanmugalingam, Cecilia Bosco, Anne J Ridley, Mieke Van Hemelrijck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)

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Cancer survival rates are increasing, and as a result, more cancer survivors are exposed to the risk of developing a second primary cancer (SPC). It has been hypothesized that one of the underlying mechanisms for this risk could be mediated by variations in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This review summarizes the current epidemiological evidence to identify whether IGF-1 plays a role in the development of SPCs. IGF-1 is known to promote cancer development by inhibiting apoptosis and stimulating cell proliferation. Epidemiological studies have reported a positive association between circulating IGF-1 levels and various primary cancers, such as breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer. The role of IGF-1 in increasing SPC risk has been explored less. Nonetheless, several experimental studies have observed a deregulation of the IGF-1 pathway, which may explain the association between IGF-1 and SPCs. Thus, measuring serum IGF-1 may serve as a useful marker in assessing the risk of SPCs, and therefore, more translational experimental and epidemiological studies are needed to further disentangle the role of IGF-1 in the development of specific SPCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3353-3367
Number of pages15
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number11
Early online date13 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1
  • Risk
  • Journal Article
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

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