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Br J Cancer. 2010 Nov 9;103(10):1479-84. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605932. Epub 2010 Oct 5.

Insulin-like growth factors and insulin control a multifunctional signalling network of significant importance in cancer.

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  • 1Section of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstr. 35, Innsbruck 6020, Austria.


Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and insulin (INS) proteins regulate key cellular functions through a complex interacting multi-component molecular network, known as the IGF/INS axis. We describe how dynamic and multilayer interactions give rise to the multifunctional role of the IGF/INS axis. Furthermore, we summarise the importance of the regulatory IGF/INS network in cancer, and discuss the possibilities and limitations of therapies targeting the IGF/INS axis with reference to ongoing clinical trials concerning the blockage of IGF1R in several types of cancer.

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