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Cancer. 1999 Jan 1;85(1):18-25.

Possible paracrine mechanism of insulin-like growth factor-2 in the development of liver metastases from colorectal carcinoma.

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Department of Surgery and Surgical Basic Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan.



Insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2) is considered one of the autocrine growth factors in colorectal carcinoma. In addition, it is well known that IGF-2 is produced in the liver. However, the role of IGF-2 in liver metastasis is not yet understood clearly.


Immunohistochemical staining of IGF-2 and IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) was performed on tissue samples of liver metastases from 30 colorectal carcinoma patients. In situ hybridization of IGF-2 also was conducted on the same tissue samples. Furthermore, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) was immunohistochemically stained for use as an indicator of the proliferative activity of cancer cells.


Invasive margins of liver metastases were stained highly by both IGF-2 (70%) and IGF-1R (83%). Overexpression of IGF-2 protein and mRNA was observed in the normal liver adjacent to the tumor. The PCNA labeling indices (LIs) of the IGF-2 positive groups were significantly higher than those of the IGF-2 negative group (P < 0.0001). In addition, the PCNA LIs for the IGF-1R positive groups also were significantly higher than those for the IGF-1R negative group (P=0.0002).


These findings suggest that hepatocyte-derived IGF-2 stimulates tumor cell proliferation by a paracrine mechanism and plays an important role in tumor progression in colorectal carcinoma patients with liver metastases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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