The role of the insulin-like growth factor-1 system in breast cancer

Mol Cancer. 2015 Feb 15;14:43. doi: 10.1186/s12943-015-0291-7.


IGF-1 is a potent mitogen of major importance in the mammary gland. IGF-1 binding to the cognate receptor, IGF-1R, triggers a signaling cascade leading to proliferative and anti-apoptotic events. Although many of the relevant molecular pathways and intracellular cascades remain to be elucidated, a growing body of evidence points to the important role of the IGF-1 system in breast cancer development, progression and metastasis. IGF-1 is a point of convergence for major signaling pathways implicated in breast cancer growth. In this review, we provide an overview and concise update on the function and regulation of IGF-1 as well as the role it plays in breast malignancies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I