• prostate;
  • cancer;
  • insulin-like growth factors


IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 may influence risk of prostate cancer through their roles in cellular growth, metabolism and apoptosis, however, epidemiologic results have been inconsistent. The role of obesity in prostate cancer risk is not clearly understood, but hyperinsulinemia-related increases in bioactive IGF-1 levels, associated with obesity, could be a component of the relationship between the IGF-axis and prostate cancer. We conducted a nested case–control study in the prospective Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial to examine associations between IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 and risk of prostate cancer. A total of 727 incident prostate cancer cases and 887 matched controls were selected for this analysis. There was no clear overall association between IGF-1, IGFBP-3 and IGF-1:IGFBP-3 molar ratio (IGFmr) and prostate cancer risk, however, IGFmr was associated with risk in obese men (BMI > 30, p-trend = 0.04), with a greater than 2-fold increased risk in the highest IGFmr quartile (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.10–5.01). Risk was specifically increased for aggressive disease in obese men (OR 2.80, 95% CI 1.11–7.08). In summary, our large prospective study showed no overall association between the insulin-like growth factor axis and prostate cancer risk, however, IGFmr was related to risk for aggressive prostate cancer in obese men. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.