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Eur J Cancer. 2008 Jul;44(11):1577-86. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2008.04.003. Epub 2008 Apr 27.

Inhibition of insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR) using NVP-AEW541, a small molecule kinase inhibitor, reduces orthotopic pancreatic cancer growth and angiogenesis.

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Departments of Surgery and Surgical Oncology, University of Regensburg Medical Center, Franz-Josef-Strauss-Allee 11, 93042 Regensburg, Germany.


The insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR) is frequently overexpressed and constitutively activated in pancreatic cancer, thus representing a promising target for therapy. We investigated the impact of a novel inhibitor of IGF-IR (NVP-AEW541) on signalling and growth of pancreatic cancer. Human pancreatic cancer cells and endothelial cells were employed, and effects of NVP-AEW541 on signalling pathways investigated by Western blotting. NVP-AEW541 diminished the activation of IGF-IR, IRS-1, Erk, Akt and STAT3. Furthermore, NVP-AEW541 reduced cancer cell proliferation and abrogated migratory effects of IGF-I. NVP-AEW541 elicited a direct effect on endothelial cells in terms of reducing endothelial cell migration. In vivo, treatment of mice with NVP-AEW541 significantly reduced orthotopic pancreatic tumour growth, vascularisation, and VEGF expression. Interestingly, NVP-AEW541 lowered serum levels of IGF-binding-protein-3 (IGFBP-3). In conclusion, the IGF-IR inhibitor NVP-AEW541 effectively disrupts IGF-I signalling and reduces pancreatic tumour growth. Hence, blocking IGF-IR could prove valuable for targeted therapy of pancreatic cancer.

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