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Endokrynol Pol. 2016;67(4):414-26. doi: 10.5603/EP.a2016.0053. Epub 2016 Jul 8.

Growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor system and carcinogenesis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrine Division (SEMPR), Federal University of ParanĂ¡, Curitiba, Brazil.


The growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system plays an important role in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. In terms of cell cycle regulation, the GH-IGF system induces signalling pathways for cell growth that compete with other signalling systems that result in cell death; thus the final effect of these opposed forces is critical for normal and abnormal cell growth. The association of the GH-IGF system with carcinogenesis has long been hypothesised, mainly based on in vitro studies and the use of a variety of animal models of human cancer, and also on epidemiological and clinical evidence in humans. While ample experimental evidence supports a role of the GH-IGF system in tumour promotion and progression, with several of its components being currently tested as central targets for cancer therapy, the strength of evidence from patients with acromegaly, GH deficiency, or treated with GH is much weaker. In this review, we will attempt to consolidate this data. (Endokrynol Pol 2016; 67 (4): 414-426).


cancer; carcinogenesis; growth hormone; insulin-like growth factor

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