Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2002 Jul 17;94(14):1099-106.

Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and IGF binding protein-3 as predictors of advanced-stage prostate cancer.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Urology, University of California at San Francisco, 94118, USA.



Plasma levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) have been associated with the risk of prostate cancer. However, the association of IGF-I with specific tumor stage and grade at diagnosis, which correlate with risk of recurrence and mortality, has not been studied rigorously. To determine whether plasma levels of IGF-I and its main circulating binding protein, IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), predict more aggressive forms of prostate cancer, we investigated the association between plasma levels of each and specific stages and grades of prostate cancer.


We examined 530 case patients and 534 control subjects in a nested case-control study in the prospective Physicians' Health Study. Patients with prostate cancer diagnosed from 1982 through 1995 were matched to control subjects by age and smoking status. IGF-I and IGFBP-3 were measured in prospectively collected plasma samples. Conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate the relative risks (RRs) for prostate cancer associated with IGF-I and IGFBP-3, stratified on grade (Gleason score > or = 7 versus <7) and stage (early = stage A or B prostate cancer versus advanced = stage C or D prostate cancer). All statistical tests were two-sided.


Plasma levels of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 were predictors of advanced-stage prostate cancer (RR = 5.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.0 to 13.2 for highest versus lowest quartiles of IGF-I; RR = 0.2, 95% CI = 0.1 to 0.6 for highest versus lowest quartiles of IGFBP-3) but not of early-stage prostate cancer. Neither was differentially associated with Gleason score. Men with high IGF-I levels and low IGFBP-3 levels had an RR for advanced-stage prostate cancer of 9.5 (95% CI = 1.9 to 48.4) compared with men with low levels of both. Combining IGF-I and IGFPB-3 measurements with a standard prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measurement for prostate cancer screening increased the specificity (from 91% to 93%) but decreased sensitivity (from 40% to 36%) compared with measurement of PSA alone.


Circulating levels of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 may predict the risk of developing advanced-stage prostate cancer, but their utility for screening patients with incident prostate cancer may be limited.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk