The role of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor axis in tumor growth and progression: Lessons from animal models

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2005 Aug-Oct;16(4-5):407-20. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2005.01.010.


Over the past two decades it has become widely appreciated that a relationship exists between the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and cancer. Many cancers have been shown to overexpress the IGF-I receptor and produce the ligands (IGF-I or IGF-II) and some combinations of the six IGF-binding proteins. With the recent demonstration by epidemiological studies that an elevated serum IGF-I level is associated with an increased relative risk of developing a number of epithelial cancers, interest has been sparked in this area of research with the possibility of targeting the IGF-I receptor in cancer treatment protocols. This review highlights many of the most relevant studies in this exciting area of research, focusing in particular on lessons learned from animal models of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Growth Hormone / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / physiology*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / therapeutic use
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1