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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002 Jan;43(1):1-8.

Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor in uveal melanoma: a predictor for metastatic disease and a potential therapeutic target.

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  • 1St. Erik's Eye Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To investigate the expression of the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) with special focus on its role in cell growth in uveal melanoma.

METHODS:

Paraffin material from 36 clinicopathologically well characterized cases of primary uveal melanomas (18 of which had metastasized to the liver) with more than 15 years' follow-up was used for immunohistochemical analysis. In the experimental studies, three uveal melanoma cell lines (OCM-1, OCM-3, and 92-1) were used. The expression level of IGF-1R in the cell lines was modulated by glycosylation inhibitors, and the IGF-1R was neutralized with the antibody alphaIR-3. Expression of IGF-1R was assayed by Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. Cell growth and survival were analyzed by cell counting, thymidine incorporation, and viability assays.

RESULTS:

Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry confirmed that IGF-1R is expressed in uveal melanoma. Although 10 of 18 patients who died of metastasizing disease showed high IGF-1R expression, only 5 of 18 tumors from patients who survived for 15 years or more after enucleation exhibited a high IGF-1R expression. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significant association (P = 0.035) between a high IGF-1R expression and death due to metastatic uveal melanoma. Using in vitro experimental models, we found that inhibition of the IGF-1R activity (tyrosine phosphorylation) was associated with a drastic decrease in uveal melanoma cell viability.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest an important role of IGF-1R in uveal melanoma. The significant association between high IGF-1R expression and death due to metastatic disease may be explained by the fact that IGF-1 is mainly produced in the liver, which is the preferential site for uveal melanoma metastases. These data also point to the possibility of therapeutically interfering with IGF-1R, which appears to be expressed preferentially in uveal melanomas that appear to follow an aggressive clinical course.

PMID:
11773005
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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