Levels of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and IGF binding proteins 2 and 3 in serial postoperative serum samples and risk of prostate cancer recurrence

Urology. 2001 Mar;57(3):471-5. doi: 10.1016/s0090-4295(00)01003-7.


Objectives: To determine changes of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), IGF binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2), and IGFBP-3 levels in serial postoperative serum samples from prostate cancer patients with and without relapse and to evaluate the prognostic value of these molecules in the recurrence of prostate cancer.

Methods: From a group of patients with prostate cancer who had been followed for disease recurrence for almost 5 years after radical prostatectomy, we selected 38 patients (cases) who developed recurrent disease and 40 patients (controls) who were in remission. Of these patients, 70 had 4 and 8 had 3 serial postoperative serum samples collected. The median times for serum collection after surgery were 1.5 years for the first serial samples, 2.6 years for the second, 3.5 years for the third, and 4.5 years for the fourth. Serum levels of IGFBP-2, IGFBP-3, and IGF-I were measured, using commercial immunoassay kits.

Results: The study showed lower serum levels of IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-3 in the cases than in controls(P <0.05) but no difference in IGF-I levels between the two groups (P = 0.277). In the sequential samples, IGFBP-2 levels increased over time in the controls (P = 0.014) but did not change in the cases (P = 0.528). There were no increasing or decreasing trends for IGF-I and IGFBP-3 in either case or control group(P >0.05).

Conclusions: The study suggests that IGFBP-2 may play a role in the progression of prostate cancer, but serum levels of IGFBP-2 as well as IGF-I and IGFBP-3 have no predictive values in the prognosis of prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 / blood*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / blood*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / blood*
  • Neoplasm, Residual
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen