• IGF-1;
  • risk biomarker;
  • prognosis;
  • disease-free survival;
  • adjacent normal breast tissue


Background and Objectives

Previous in vitro studies have suggested that IGF-1 stimulation can lead a more aggressive breast cancers and subsequent poor prognosis in breast cancer patients. We aim to how IGF-1 and IGF-1R mRNA levels in breast cancer are associated with disease-free survival (DFS) and other clinicopathological factors.


IGF-1 and IGF-1R mRNA levels were measured in breast cancer tissue from 132 patients using real-time PCR. DFS and clinicopathological information were obtained from patient case notes.


IGF-1 and IGF-1R mRNA levels did not correlate with any clinicopathological factors. Patients who relapsed had lower IGF-1 mRNA levels in their tumour tissue compared to those who remained disease-free during the 5-year follow-up period. Patients who had ER-positive breast cancers with high IGF-1 mRNA levels had longer DFS compared to those with low IGF-1 mRNA levels. IGF-1 mRNA levels was not associated with DFS in patients with ER-negative cancers. IGF-1R mRNA levels was not associated with DFS in any subgroup analysis. Multivariate analysis showed that IGF-1 mRNA levels and histopathological grade were independent predictors of DFS.


Breast cancer tissue IGF-1 expression is a favourable prognostic indicator and could be used in clinical setting in planning for adjuvant treatment. J. Surg. Oncol. 2011; 104:228–235. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.