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Br J Cancer. 2007 Jul 2;97(1):98-104. Epub 2007 May 29.

Circulating insulin-like growth factor axis and the risk of pancreatic cancer in four prospective cohorts.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I induces growth in pancreatic cancer cells and blockade of the IGF-I receptor has antitumour activity. The association of plasma IGF-I and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) with pancreatic cancer risk has been investigated in two small studies, with conflicting results. We conducted a nested case-control study within four large, prospective cohorts to investigate whether prediagnostic plasma levels of IGF-I, IGF-II, and IGFBP-3 were associated with pancreatic cancer risk. Plasma levels in 212 cases and 635 matched controls were compared by conditional logistic regression, with adjustment for other known pancreatic cancer risk factors. No association was observed between plasma levels of IGF-I, IGF-II, or IGFBP-3 and incident diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Relative risks for the highest vs the lowest quartile of IGF-I, IGF-II, and IGFBP-3 were 0.94 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.60-1.48), 0.96 (95% CI, 0.61-1.52), and 1.21 (95% CI, 0.75-1.92), respectively. The relative risk for the molar ratio of IGF-I and IGFBP-3, a surrogate measure for free IGF-I, was 0.84 (95% CI, 0.54-1.31). Additionally, no association was noted in stratified analyses or when requiring longer follow-up. In four prospective cohorts, we found no association between the risk of pancreatic cancer and prediagnostic plasma levels of IGF-I, IGF-II, or IGFBP-3.

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