[GH/IGF-1 and cancer: what's new in this association]

Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2005 Oct;49(5):833-42. doi: 10.1590/s0004-27302005000500026. Epub 2006 Jan 23.
[Article in Portuguese]


Evidence from in vitro and animal studies suggests that members of the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) system, including IGF-I, IGF-II, the IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR), and the IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) play a central role in the development and progression of cancer. More specifically, IGFs may promote cell cycle progression and inhibition of apoptosis either by directly associating with other growth factors or indirectly by interacting with other molecular systems, which have an established role in carcinogenesis and cancer promotion. In addition, a growing number of epidemiologic studies suggest that increased serum levels of IGFs and/or altered levels of their binding proteins are associated with increased risk for developing several malignancies. This review aims to summarize and to show the role of IGF system in tumor regulation, a revision of epidemiologic studies and the risk of neoplasia in patients (with or without personal history of previous neoplasia) who received growth hormone (rhGH). It is important to emphasize that the clinical use of rhGH, in the indications internationally approved, is secure, and there are not evidences, at this moment, of the association with neoplasias development.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Progression
  • Growth Hormone / adverse effects
  • Growth Hormone / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Risk Factors
  • Somatomedins / physiology*


  • Somatomedins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone