The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system comprises multiple growth factor receptors, including insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R), insulin receptor (IR) -A and -B. These receptors are activated upon binding to their respective growth factor ligands, IGF-I, IGF-II and insulin, and play an important role in development, maintenance, progression, survival and chemotherapeutic response of ovarian cancer. In many pre-clinical studies anti-IGF-1R/IR targeted strategies proved effective in reducing growth of ovarian cancer models. In addition, anti-IGF-1R targeted strategies potentiated the efficacy of platinum based chemotherapy. Despite the vast amount of encouraging and promising pre-clinical data, anti-IGF-1R/IR targeted strategies lacked efficacy in the clinic. The question is whether targeting the IGF-1R/IR signaling pathway still holds therapeutic potential. In this review we address the complexity of the IGF-1R/IR signaling pathway, including receptor heterodimerization within and outside the IGF system and downstream signaling. Further, we discuss the implications of this complexity on current targeted strategies and indicate therapeutic opportunities for successful targeting of the IGF-1R/IR signaling pathway in ovarian cancer. Multiple-targeted approaches circumventing bidirectional receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) compensation and prevention of system rewiring are expected to have more therapeutic potential.
Liefers-Visser, J. A. L., Meijering, R. A. M., Reyners, A. K. L., van der Zee, A. G. J., & de Jong, S. (2017, November 1). IGF system targeted therapy: Therapeutic opportunities for ovarian cancer. Cancer Treatment Reviews. W.B. Saunders Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2017.08.012