Significant changes in circulating plasma levels of IGF1 and IGFBP3 after conventional or dose-intensified adjuvant treatment of breast cancer patients with one to three positive lymph nodes

Int J Biol Markers. 2007 Jul-Sep;22(3):186-93. doi: 10.1177/172460080702200304.


The insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and its binding protein IGFBP3 (insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3) play a pivotal role during the growth and development of tissues. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of anthracycline- and taxane-containing adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients on the circulating plasma levels of IGF1 and its main binding protein, IGFBP3. This investigation was part of a prospective randomized phase III study in which breast cancer patients were treated with either conventional or dose-intensified adjuvant chemotherapy. The factors were quantified in the plasma of 151 patients with a commercially available sandwich enzyme immunoassay. Before therapy, both parameters were within the normal range in most patients (n=145 and n=144). After therapy, both factors had increased significantly by 29% (IGF1) and 19% (IGFBP3), with the highest increase being observed in the dose-intensified group. Correlations with patient and tumor characteristics revealed a relatively higher increase in both parameters in premenopausal patients, patients with lower-grade tumors, more positive lymph nodes, larger tumor volume, and positive hormone receptor status. No correlation was found with the HER2 expression of the tumors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Epirubicin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins / blood*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / biosynthesis
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • IGFBP3 protein, human
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Epirubicin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Paclitaxel