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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2007 Oct;6(10):821-33.

Modifying IGF1 activity: an approach to treat endocrine disorders, atherosclerosis and cancer.

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Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7170, USA.


Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) is a polypeptide hormone that has a high degree of structural similarity to human proinsulin. Owing to its ubiquitous nature and its role in promoting cell growth, strategies to inhibit IGF1 actions are being pursued as potential adjunctive measures for treating diseases such as short stature, atherosclerosis and diabetes. In addition, most tumour cell types possess IGF1 receptors and conditions in the tumour microenvironment, such as hypoxia, can lead to enhanced responsiveness to IGF1. Therefore, inhibiting IGF1 action has been proposed as a specific mechanism for potentiating the effects of existing anticancer therapies or for directly inhibiting tumour cell growth.

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