Targeting the insulin-like growth factor pathway in rhabdomyosarcomas: rationale and future perspectives

Sarcoma. 2011;2011:209736. doi: 10.1155/2011/209736. Epub 2011 Mar 3.


Rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS) are a heterogeneous group of tumors that share features of skeletal myogenesis and represent the most common pediatric soft tissue sarcoma. Even though significant advances have been achieved in RMS treatment, prognosis remains very poor for many patients. Several elements of the Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) pathway are involved in sarcomas, including RMS. The IGF2 ligand is highly expressed in most, if not all, RMS, and frequent overexpression of the receptor IGF1R is also found. This is confirmed here through mining expression profiling data of a large series of RMS samples. IGF signaling is implicated in the genesis, growth, proliferation, and metastasis of RMS. Blockade of this pathway is therefore a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of RMS. In this paper we examine the biological rationale for targeting the IGF pathway in RMS as well as the current associated preclinical and clinical experience.