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Trends Mol Med. 2001 Oct;7(10):447-54.

The growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor-I axis and colorectal cancer.

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Academic Department of Surgery, Barts and the London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London, London, UK E1 1BB.


The growth hormone (GH)-insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I axis is an important modulator of growth and development, but in addition to their classical role as endocrine hormones, its components also regulate a wide range of biological functions through paracrine and autocrine mechanisms. Their potent mitogenic and anti-apoptotic effects play a critical role in the regulation of rapidly renewing epithelial cell populations such as those found in the colon. Recent evidence suggests an association between inappropriate regulation of the GH-IGF-I axis and the development of colorectal cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms and signalling pathways responsible are only beginning to be unravelled, as are the relative contributions of the endocrine and autocrine or paracrine effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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