Hallmarks of cancer: The insulin-like growth factors perspective

Haim Werner*, Derek LeRoith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The identification of a series of attributes or hallmarks that are shared by virtually all cancer cells constitutes a true milestone in cancer research. The conceptualization of a catalogue of common genetic, molecular, biochemical and cellular events under a unifying Hallmarks of Cancer idea had a major impact in oncology. Furthermore, the fact that different types of cancer, ranging from pediatric tumors and leukemias to adult epithelial cancers, share a large number of fundamental traits reflects the universal nature of the biological events involved in oncogenesis. The dissection of a complex disease like cancer into a finite directory of hallmarks is of major basic and translational relevance. The role of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) as a progression/survival factor required for normal cell cycle transition has been firmly established. Similarly well characterized are the biochemical and cellular activities of IGF1 and IGF2 in the chain of events leading from a phenotypically normal cell to a diseased one harboring neoplastic traits, including growth factor independence, loss of cell-cell contact inhibition, chromosomal abnormalities, accumulation of mutations, activation of oncogenes, etc. The purpose of the present review is to provide an in-depth evaluation of the biology of IGF1 at the light of paradigms that emerge from analysis of cancer hallmarks. Given the fact that the IGF1 axis emerged in recent years as a promising therapeutic target, we believe that a careful exploration of this signaling system might be of critical importance on our ability to design and optimize cancer therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1055589
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2022


FundersFunder number
Recanati Foundation
National Institutes of Health
National Cancer InstituteR01CA128799
Center for Information Technology
Center for Scientific Review
Office of Extramural Research, National Institutes of Health
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, National Institutes of Health
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation
Israel Cancer Association
Israel Science Foundation
Tel Aviv University


    • IGF1 receptor (IGF1R)
    • apoptosis
    • cancer hallmarks
    • cell cycle
    • insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1)
    • p53
    • tumor suppressors


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