Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Feb 15;12(4):1208-14.

The relationship of insulin-like growth factor-II, insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3, and estrogen receptor-alpha expression to disease progression in epithelial ovarian cancer.

Author information

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale Cancer Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8034, USA.



The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system plays important roles in cancer; blocking IGF signaling has been shown to have therapeutic effects on tumor growth. Many studies have focused on the effect of IGF-I, but few have addressed IGF-II. To assess the role of IGF-II in cancer, we analyzed IGF-II expression in ovarian cancer and examined its association with disease characteristics and prognosis.


Included in the study were 215 patients with primary epithelial ovarian cancer. Fresh tumor specimens were collected during surgery, and the patients were followed for a median of 31 months. Total RNA was extracted from the tumor and analyzed for IGF-II, IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3), and estrogen receptor-alpha expressions using quantitative reverse transcription PCR. Survival analysis was done to examine the associations of IGF-II with disease progression.


IGF-II expression was found to be higher in tumors with poor prognosis; this included tumors with advanced stage, poor differentiation, serous histology, and large residual lesions. Patients with high IGF-II had elevated risk for disease progression and death, although the significance became less evident when the analysis was adjusted for clinical and pathologic variables. IGFBP-3 expression was higher in less aggressive tumors, but was not associated with disease progression. The expression of estrogen receptor-alpha had no effect on survival.


This study found evidence that IGF-II expression is associated with disease progression, suggesting that IGF-II and IGF signaling are potential targets for ovarian cancer treatment. The study also indicates that IGF-II and IGFBP-3 have limited value in prognosis because of their strong associations with disease stage and tumor grade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center