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Oncogene. 2003 Sep 29;22(42):6589-97.

Growth factor receptors as therapeutic targets: strategies to inhibit the insulin-like growth factor I receptor.

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Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, 233 S 10th St., BLSB 631, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Neoplastic transformation is often related to abnormal activation of growth factor receptors and their signaling pathways. The concept of targeting specific tumorigenic receptors and/or signaling molecules has been validated by the development and successful clinical application of drugs acting against the epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu, Erb2), the epidermal growth factor receptor 1 (EGFR, HER1), the Brc-Abl kinase, the platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and c-kit. This review will focus on the next promising therapeutic target, the insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR). IGF-IR has been implicated in a number of neoplastic diseases, including several common carcinomas. From a pharmaceutical standpoint, of particular importance is that IGF-IR appears to be required for many transforming agents (genetic, viral, chemical) to act, but is not obligatory for the function of normal adult cells. The tumorigenic potential of IGF-IR is mediated through its antiapoptotic and transforming signaling, and in some cases through induction of prometastatic pathways. Preclinical studies demonstrated that downregulation of IGF-IR reversed the neoplastic phenotype and sensitized cells to antitumor treatments. The strategies to block IGF-IR function employed anti-IGF-IR antibodies, small-molecule inhibitors of the IGF-IR tyrosine kinase, antisense oligodeoxynucleotides and antisense RNA, small inhibitory RNA, triple helix, dominant-negative mutants, and various compounds reducing ligand availability. The experience with these strategies combined with the knowledge gained with current anti-growth factor receptor drugs should streamline the development of anti-IGF-IR therapeutics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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