Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cancer: the insulin and IGF connection

    1. Derek LeRoith
    1. Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Diseases, The Samuel Bronfman Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA
    1. (Correspondence should be addressed to D LeRoith; Email: derek.leroith{at}mssm.edu)


    Epidemiological studies suggest a positive association between obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) with the risk of cancer and cancer-related mortality. Insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, increased levels of IGF, elevated levels of steroid and peptide hormones, and inflammatory markers appear to play a role in the connection between these different diseases. Medications, such as metformin and exogenous insulin, used to treat T2D may affect the risk of cancer and cancer-related mortality. Newer therapies targeting the insulin and IGF1 systems are being developed for use in cancer therapy.

    • Revision received 17 January 2012
    • Accepted 20 January 2012
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 16 May 2012
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