Autocrine growth factors and cancer

Nature. 1985 Feb 28-Mar 6;313(6005):745-7. doi: 10.1038/313745a0.


The ability of cancer cells to produce and to respond to their own growth factors (autocrine secretion) has become a central concept linking oncogene and growth factor research. Oncogenes confer growth factor autonomy on cells not only by coding directly for autocrine peptide growth factors or their receptors, but also by amplifying the mitogenic signals generated by a growth factor at its receptor. Antagonists of positive autocrine growth factors can inhibit growth of cancer cells in experimental animals. Recently identified negative autocrine growth factors might themselves control aberrant cell growth.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / physiopathology*
  • Growth Inhibitors / physiology
  • Growth Substances / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Oncogenes*
  • Peptides / physiology*
  • Receptors, Mitogen / physiology
  • Transforming Growth Factors


  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Growth Substances
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Mitogen
  • Transforming Growth Factors