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The Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF) Signaling Pathway: Strategies for Successful Therapeutic Tasks in Cancer Treatment

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The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system involves a complex network of ligands (IGF-I and IGF-II), receptors (IGF-1R and IGF-2R), IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP-1 to IGFBP-6), and downstream intracellular signaling elements. The IGF-axis modulates proliferation and (anti-)apoptosis in mammals, and it is therefore not surprising that dysregulation of different pathway components is involved in the development and progression of several tumor entities such as breast, prostate, lung, and liver cancer. Because IGFs, IGF-receptors, and IGFBPs play a critical role in the emergence of human neoplasias, these molecules have become the center of special interest as prime targets for potential anti-cancer therapies. In the last decade, various substances and experimental strategies, which affect the IGF-induced signal transduction, have successfully been used in treatment of neoplasias in vitro and in vivo. These approaches contain neutralizing antibodies, antagonistic peptides, selective receptor kinase inhibitors, and (antisense-)oligonucleotides.

Keywords: IGF-1R; Insulin-like growth factor; cancer; therapy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Pathology, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 220/221, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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  • Current Cancer Therapy Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances in clinical oncology, cancer therapy and pharmacology. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to clinical research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians in cancer therapy.

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