• IGFBP-3;
  • IGF-1;
  • PSA;
  • prostate cancer;
  • predictive value



Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) play an important role in regulation of prostate cancer cell growth. We studied the prognostic significance of serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels, and IGF-1/prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and IGFBP-3/PSA ratios in patients with prostate cancer.


Serum levels of IGF-1, IGFBP-3, and PSA were determined in 112 patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. Serum samples from 32 patients with histologically confined benign prostatatic hyperplasia (BPH) served as control.


Serum IGF-1 levels were significantly higher in advanced prostate cancer (n = 84) than in BPH patients (P < 0.01). IGFBP-3 levels were significantly lower in patients with advanced prostate cancer than in localized tumor (n = 28) or BPH (P < 0.05, each). Univariate analysis showed that serum PSA, IGF-1/PSA ratio, IGFBP-3/PSA ratio, T, N and M classifications correlated significantly with relapse-free survival of advanced prostate cancer patients treated with hormonal therapy. Multivariate analysis identified IGFBP-3/PSA ratio as the only significant variable for relapse-free survival (odds ratio 5.81, 95% CI 1.57–21.51). IGFBP-3/PSA ratio was also an independent predictor of cause-specific survival (stepwise analysis, odds ratio 4.86, P < 0.01).


Our results suggested that IGFBP-3/PSA ratio might be a useful prognostic marker of advanced prostate cancer. Prostate 54: 125–132, 2003. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.