IGFBPs and cancer

Peng Fang, Vivian Hwa, Ron Rosenfeld, LeRoith, Holly, Kaaks, Pollak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The proposed insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) superfamily are a group of secreted proteins that are structurally, functionally and evolutionarily related, and include six IGFBPs and over 10 IGFBP-related proteins. The IGFBPs have high affinities for insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), thereby modulating the mitogenic, anti-apoptotic and metabolic actions of IGFs. In addition, IGFBPs, particularly IGFBP-3, also have IGF-independent, anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic functions. The IGFBPs are, in turn, modulated by proteolysis. Epidemiological data correlating serum IGF/ IGFBP levels with the risk of several human cancers suggest a possible protective role for IGFBP-3. In vitro studies suggest that the potential protective effects of IGFBP-3 involve both IGF-dependent and IGF-independent mechanisms. Further studies are necessary to demonstrate whether the ability of IGFBPs to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells under in vitro conditions has significant clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-234
Number of pages20
JournalNovartis Foundation Symposium
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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