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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998 Jun 17;90(12):911-5.

Insulin-like growth factor 1 and prostate cancer risk: a population-based, case-control study.

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Department of Medical Epidemiology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.



Recent epidemiologic investigations have suggested an association between increased blood levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and increased risk of prostate cancer. Our goal was to determine whether an association exists between serum levels of IGF-1 and one of its binding proteins, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3), and prostate cancer risk.


An immunoradiometric assay was used to quantify IGF-1 levels and IGFBP-3 levels in serum samples as part of a population-based, case-control study in Sweden. The study population comprised 210 patients with newly diagnosed, untreated prostate cancer and 224 frequency-matched control subjects. Data were analyzed by use of unconditional logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Reported P values are two-sided.


The mean serum IGF-1 level for case patients (158.4 ng/mL) was significantly higher than that for control subjects (147.4 ng/mL) (P = .02); corresponding mean serum IGFBP-3 levels were not significantly different between case patients (2668 ng/mL) and control subjects (2518 ng/mL) (P =.09). We found a moderately strong and statistically significant (P = .04) positive association between serum levels of IGF-1 levels and risk of prostate cancer (OR = 1.51; 95% CI = 1.0-2.26 per 100 ng/mL increment); the association was particularly strong for men younger than 70 years of age (OR = 2.93; 95% CI = 1.43-5.97). No association was found between serum IGF-1 levels and disease stage. Serum IGFBP-3 levels were not significantly associated with increased risk of disease, and adjustment for IGFBP-3 had little effect on the association between IGF-1 levels and risk of prostate cancer.


Elevated serum IGF-1 levels may be an important predictor of risk for prostate cancer. However, our results do not support an important role for serum IGFBP-3 as a predictor of risk for this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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