Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the utmost stroma-rich cancer, which is accompanied by fibrotic reactions that stimulate interactions between tumor cells and stroma to promote tumor progression. Considerable research evidence denotes that insulin-like growth factor (IGF)/IGF binding proteins (IGFBP) signaling axis facilitate tumor growth, metastasis, drug resistance, and thereby facilitate PC into an advanced stage. The six members of IGFBPs were initially considered as passive carriers of free IGFs; however, current evidence revealed their functions beyond the endocrine role in IGF transport. Though numerous efforts have been made in blocking IGF/IGFBPs, the targeted therapies remain unsuccessful due to the complexity of tumor-stromal interactions in the pancreas. In this review, we explore the emerging evidence of the various roles of the tumor as well as stroma derived IGF/IGFBPs and highlight as a novel therapeutic target against PC progression.
- Extracellular matrix
- Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins
- Insulin-like growth factor signaling
- Pancreatic cancer
- Tumor microenvironment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research