Targeting the insulin-like growth factor receptor-1R pathway for cancer therapy

Clin Cancer Res. 2010 May 1;16(9):2512-7. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-2232. Epub 2010 Apr 13.


Signaling through the insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) is required for neoplastic transformation by a number of oncogenes, and preclinical validation studies have suggested IGF-1R is an attractive target for anticancer therapy. A number of small molecules and antibodies targeting IGF-1R have entered clinical development, and early results have suggested that these agents have generally acceptable safety profiles as single agents. Some evidence of antitumor activity has also been reported. This review highlights key aspects of the IGF-1R signaling pathway that implicate it as an attractive therapeutic target in the management of cancer, as well as some key lessons that have emerged from early clinical development of anti-IGF-1R targeting agents. In addition, we consider the importance of selecting indications characterized by pathological alterations in the signaling pathway, rational selection of combinations based on signaling pathway interactions, and strategies for patient selection based on analysis of predictive biomarkers.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / immunology
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1
  • figitumumab