Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 209–217

Endocrine effects of IGF-I on normal and transformed breast epithelial cells: potential relevance to strategies for breast cancer treatment and prevention

  • Michael N. Pollak

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005950916707

Cite this article as:
Pollak, M.N. Breast Cancer Res Treat (1998) 47: 209. doi:10.1023/A:1005950916707


Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are mitogenic and anti-apoptotic peptides that influence the proliferative behavior of many cell types, including normal and transformed breast epithelial cells. IGF-I has properties of both a tissue growth factor and a systemic hormone: there is evidence that IGF bioactivity in tissues is influenced not only by local factors such as tissue expression of IGFs, IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs), and IGFBP proteases, but also by factors that regulate whole-body IGF physiology and circulating IGF-I levels. Experimental evidence that interventions that reduce circulating IGF-I levels reduce proliferation of breast neoplasms has raised interest in the possibility of developing novel endocrine therapies that target the growth hormone/IGF-I axis. Furthermore, influences of the growth hormone/IGF-I axis on normal breast epithelial cells may underlie recent epidemiological observations that suggest that premenopausal women with high circulating IGF-I level are at increased risk for breast cancer. These studies suggest that the growth hormone/IGF-I axis deserves investigation as a possible target for novel breast cancer prevention strategies.

insulin-like growth factor I IGF binding proteins IGFBP proteases growth hormone GH/IGF-I axis risk factors endocrine therapy prevention 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael N. Pollak
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine and Oncology, Lady Davis Research InstituteJewish General Hospital and McGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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