Home > Journals > Minerva Endocrinologica > Past Issues > Minerva Endocrinologica 2019 March;44(1) > Minerva Endocrinologica 2019 March;44(1):43-57



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Minerva Endocrinologica 2019 March;44(1):43-57

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1977.18.02882-1


language: English

The role of insulin-like growth factor system in the adrenocortical tumors

Barbara ALTIERI 1, 2 , Annamaria COLAO 2, Antongiulio FAGGIANO 2

1 Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany; 2 Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University “Federico II”, Naples, Italy

INTRODUCTION: The different presentation of adrenocortical tumors in benign adenoma (ACA) or adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is related to the variability at the molecular level. The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system is one of the most frequently altered pathways in ACC. In this review we will critically analyze the evidence regarding the pathogenic role of the IGF system in adrenal tumorigenesis, focusing on ACC. We will also examine the preclinical and clinical studies which investigated the targeting of the IGF system as a therapeutic approach in ACC.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: The IGF system plays a crucial role in the embryogenesis of adrenal glands. No significant alterations of the IGF system were observed in ACA. In ACC, the IGF2 overexpression is one of the most frequent molecular change presented in more than 85% of cases. However, IGF2 seems to be only a tumor progression factor which requires additional hits to trigger adrenal tumorigenesis. Also, the IGF1 receptor (IGF1R) appears to be higher expressed in ACC. Many IGF1R target-drugs have been developed to inhibit the activation of the IGF system.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Preclinical studies using antibody or tyrosine kinase which target the IGF1R, or the dual-targeting of IGF1R and insulin receptor (IR) reduced ACC cells proliferation both in vitro and in vivo in mouse xenograft model. However, these promising results were not confirmed in clinical trials.
CONCLUSIONS: Nowadays, predictive markers for the response of target-IGF therapy are missing and further studies which investigate new molecular markers and evaluate the entire IGF receptors, including the IR, are urgently needed.

KEY WORDS: Adrenal cortex neoplasms - Insulin-like growth factor - Receptor, IGF type 1 - Receptor, insulin

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