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Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2009 Nov;53(8):969-75.

IGF-I, insulin and prostate cancer.

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Serviço de Endocrinologia, Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.


Prostate cancer is the second most frequent malignancy diagnosed in adult men. Androgens are considered the primary growth factors for prostate normal and cancer cells. However, other non-androgenic growth factors are involved in the growth regulation of prostate cancer cells. The association between IGF-I and prostate cancer risk is well established. However, there is no evidence that the measurement of IGF-I enhances the specificity of prostate cancer detection beyond that achievable by serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. Until now, there is no consensus on the possible association between IGFBP-3 and prostate cancer risk. Although not well established, it seems that high insulin levels are particularly associated with risk of aggressive prostatic tumours. This review describes the physiopathological basis, epidemiological evidence, and animal models that support the association of the IGFs family and insulin with prostate cancer. It also describes the potential therapies targeting these growth factors that, in the future, can be used to treat patients with prostate cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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