Insulin-like growth factor: current concepts and new developments in cancer therapy

Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov. 2012 Jan;7(1):14-30. doi: 10.2174/157489212798357930.


The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) family and the IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) play an important role in cancer. This intricate and complex signaling pathway provides many opportunities for therapeutic intervention, and several novel therapeutics aimed at the IGF-1R, particularly monoclonal antibodies and small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors, are under clinical investigation. This article provides a patent overview of the IGF signaling pathway and its complexity, addresses the justification for the use of IGF-1R-targeted therapy, and reviews the results of in vivo and in vitro novel therapeutics. Over the past year, the completion of several phase I, II, and III trials have provided interesting new information about the clinical activity of these novel compounds, particularly CP-751,871, IMC-A12, R1507, AMG-479, AVE-1642, MK-0646, XL-228, OSI-906, and BMS-754807. We review the important preliminary results from clinical trials with these compounds and conclude with a discussion about future therapeutic efforts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / trends
  • Drug Discovery / trends*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Somatomedin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Somatomedin / immunology
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Somatomedins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Somatomedins / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Somatomedin
  • Somatomedins