Aging and Cancer: The IGF-I Connection

  • Kalina Biernacka
  • Claire Perks
  • Jeff HollyEmail author
Part of the Cancer Drug Discovery and Development book series (CDD&D)


Over recent years, interest in the IGF-system has greatly increased in the two fields of cancer and aging research. Human cancer is a disease of aging that is caused by genetic defects and recent advances in technology have enabled a complete characterisation of these defects present in common cancers. These advances have revealed the importance of cell signalling pathways, particularly that of IGFs/insulin, for the development of these cancers. Epidemiology has revealed that occult neoplasias are extremely common in the general population and increase in prevalence with age and that for the common cancers progression to clinical disease is associated with a Western lifestyle, nutrition and systemic IGF-levels. Research into aging has established that nutrition and IGF-activity are important determinants of lifespan: low IGF-activity favours cell maintenance and the elimination of damaged cells. Elimination of damaged cells clearly could reduce the risk of cancer and avoiding cancer helps sustain a long lifespan. The IGFs are nutritionally dependent and are therefore modifiable risk-factors and understanding more about these links may facilitate new opportunities for treating and preventing cancer and ensuring a long healthy lifespan.


Environmental Exposure Neoplastic Lesion Clinical Cancer Oncogenic Mutation Bloom Syndrome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IGFs & Metabolic Endocrinology Group, School of Clinical SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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