The role of insulin-like growth factors in the development of prostate cancer

Jeff M P Holly*, Kalina Biernacka, Claire M Perks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
84 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Preclinical, clinical, and population studies have provided robust evidence for an important role for the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system in the development of prostate cancer.Areas covered: An overview of the IGF system is provided. The evidence implicating the IGF system in the development of prostate cancer is summarized. The compelling evidence culminated in a number of clinical trials of agents targeting the system; the reasons for the failure of these trials are discussed.Expert opinion: Clinical trials of agents targeting the IGF system in prostate cancer were terminated due to limited objective clinical responses and are unlikely to be resumed unless a convincing predictive biomarker is identified that would enable the selection of likely responders. The aging population and increased screening will lead to greater diagnosis of prostate cancer. Although the vast majority will be indolent disease, the epidemics of obesity and diabetes will increase the proportion that progress to clinical disease. The increased population of worried men will result in more trials aimed to reduce the risk of disease progression; actual clinical endpoints will be challenging and the IGFs remain the best intermediate biomarkers to indicate a response that could alter the course of disease.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review Endocrinology Metabolism
Early online date22 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 May 2020


  • Prostate cancer
  • IGFs
  • IGF-IR
  • blocking antibodies
  • tyrosine kinase inhibitors
  • clinical trials


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