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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013;14(10):5675-80.

Expression characteristics of proteins of the insulin-like growth factor axis in non-small cell lung cancer patients with preexisting type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Center, the State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China E-mail :



Preexisting type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) affects the prognosis and mortality of patients with some cancers. Insulin like growth factor (IGF) and insulin receptor (IR) signaling axes play important roles in both cancer and diabetes development. We aimed to explore the expression characteristics of proteins in IGF/IR axis in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases with preexisting T2DM.


Fifty-five NSCLC patients with preexisting T2DM were retrospectively included and matched by 55 NSCLC without diabetes at a 1:1 ratio. The expression of proteins in IGF/IR axis was detected by immunohistochemical staining. Clinicopathological data were collected to analyze their relationship with the protein expression.


Both IGF 1 receptor (IGF-1R) and insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS-2) showed higher expression in the NSCLC with T2DM group, compared with those without T2DM. The high expression of IGF-1R and IRS-2 were found to be negatively associated with lymph node metastases and T staging in the T2DM group, respectively, and IRS-2 expression was also found more in the subgroup whose T2DM duration was more than 4 years. No difference was detected in the expression of IRS-1, IGF-1, IGF-2, IGFBP3, IR and mTOR between groups with or without T2DM.


Our study found higher expression of IGF-1R and IRS-2 proteins in NSCLC patients with preexisting T2DM, and that there was an association with early stage NSCLC, which suggested that IGF signaling may play an important early event in development of NSCLC associated with diabetes.

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