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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1995 Jan;42(1):23-30.

Relations between sex hormones, sex hormone binding globulin, insulin-like growth factor-I and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 in post-menopausal breast cancer patients.

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Department of Oncology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway.

Erratum in

  • Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 1995 Dec;43(6):772.



Oestrogens, androgens and anti-endocrine drugs such as tamoxifen and aminoglutethimide influence plasma insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). IGF-I, in turn, has been found to stimulate the peripheral aromatase in vitro. The aim of this study was to examine relations between sex hormones, IGF-I and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) in post-menopausal women with breast cancer.


To measure plasma sex steroids, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), IGF-I, IGFBP-1, insulin and urinary oestrogen metabolites in post-menopausal women with breast cancer not receiving any endocrine therapy.


Thirty-two patients had fasting blood samples obtained between 0800 and 1000 h. A sub-group of 10 patients had 24-hour urine oestrogen metabolites determined.


Plasma steroids and proteins were measured by radioimmunoassays. Urinary oestrogens were measured by GC-MS.


SHBG correlated negatively with plasma androstenedione (P < 0.001), insulin (P < 0.001), IGF-I, height and plasma oestrone sulphate (P < 0.025 for all), but positively with plasma IGFBP-1 (P < 0.025). IGFBP-1 correlated negatively with IGF-I (P < 0.001) and the testosterone/SHBG ratio (P < 0.05). Neither IGF-I nor IGFBP-1 correlated with any of the plasma or urinary sex hormones or with the oestrone/androstenedione and oestradiol/testosterone ratios. Multivariate analysis revealed plasma SHBG to correlate positively with IGFBP-1 (P = 0.029) and negatively with insulin (P = 0.031). Plasma IGFBP-1 correlated negatively with IGF-I (P < 0.0001) but not with insulin.


Our results do not suggest any influence of plasma sex steroids in physiological concentrations on IGF-I or IGFBP-1 in post-menopausal breast cancer patients, nor do they indicate IGF-I at physiological concentrations influences the ratios between plasma oestrogens and their androgen precursors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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