Background: The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system was documented to play a predominant role in neoplasia. As lung cancer is one of the most malignant cancers, we conducted a meta-analysis in order to investigate the strength of association between circulating IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels and lung cancer.
Methodology/principal findings: A systematic literature search was conducted to identify all prospective case-control studies and case-control studies on circulating IGFs and IGFBPs levels. Six nested case-control studies (1 043 case subjects and 11 472 control participants) and eight case-control studies (401 case subjects and 343 control participants) were included in this meta-analysis. Pooled measure was calculated as the inverse variance-weighted mean of the natural logarithm of multivariate adjusted OR with 95% CIs for highest vs. lowest levels to assess the association of circulating IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentrations and lung cancer. Standard mean difference (SMD) was also calculated to indicate the difference of the circulating IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentrations between the lung cancer case group and the control group. Of the nested case-control studies, ORs for the highest vs. lowest levels of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were 1.047 (95% CI: [0.802,1.367], P = 0.736) and 0.960 (95%CI: [0.591,1.559], P = 0.868) respectively; and SMDs were -0.079 (95%CI:[ -0.169, 0.011], P = 0.086) and -0.097 (95%CI:[ -0.264,0.071], P = 0.258) for IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 respectively. As to the case-control studies, SMDs were 0.568 (95%CI:[ -0.035, 1.171], P = 0.065) and -0.780 (95%CI:[ -1.358, -0.201], P = 0.008) for IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 respectively.
Conclusions/significance: Inverse association was shown between IGFBP-3 and lung cancer in the case-control studies,and the circulating level of IGFBP-3 underwent a decline during tumorogenesis and development of lung cancer, which suggested IGFBP-3 a promising candidate for the biomarker of lung cancer.