Will targeting insulin growth factor help us or hurt us? An oncologist's perspective

Mitchell Kamrava, David Gius, Giovanna Casagrande, Elise Kohn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The insulin/insulin growth factor (IGF) pathway is a critical mediator of longevity and aging. Efforts to extend longevity by altering the insulin/IGF pathway may have varying effects on other physiological processes. Reduced insulin/IGF levels may decrease the incidence of certain cancers as well as the risk of developing metastatic disease. However, it may also increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as well as cardiovascular related mortality. Pursuing the right insulin/IGF pathway targets will require striking a balance between inhibiting cancer cell development and progression and avoiding damage to tissues under normal insulin/IGF-mediated control. This review will discuss the roles of the insulin/IGF pathway in aging and longevity and the development of cancer cell metastasis and considerations in taking insulin/IGF directed targets to the oncology clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Cancer
  • Insulin growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology


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