Objective: To investigate whether the three principal components of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system, IGF-1, IGF-2 and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), are associated with survival from childhood leukemia.
Patients and methods: 116 children, 0--14 years old, with newly diagnosed and bone-marrow-biopsy-confirmed acute childhood leukemia between 1993 and 1996 were followed up until death or March 31, 1998. IGF-1, IGF-2 and IGFBP-3 were measured at diagnosis and clinical data, including presence of hepatosplenomegaly and number of white blood cells, were available.
Results: After controlling for gender, age, indicators of clinical severity and the other measured components of the IGF system there was a statistically significant (p < 0.05) inverse association of IGFBP-3 with survival. An increment of one standard deviation in IGFBP-3 was associated with a 65% reduction of the death hazard among the children with leukemia. Neither IGF-1 nor IGF-2 was associated with survival in this data set.
Conclusion: The presented empirical evidence in conjunction with the fact that IGFBP-3 modulates IGF-1 and IGF-2 bioavailability and is likely to have proapoptotic effects makes this compound a plausible independent predictor of survival from childhood leukemia.
Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel