High insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2) gene expression is an independent predictor of poor survival for patients with advanced stage serous epithelial ovarian cancer

Robyn A. Sayer, Johnathan M. Lancaster, Jennifer Pittman, Jonathon Gray, Regina Whitaker, Jeffrey R. Marks, Andrew Berchuck

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70 Scopus citations


Epithelial ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic malignancy, yet its molecular etiology remains poorly understood. Evidence is accumulating to support a role for the insulin-like growth factor family in human carcinogenesis, and recently using microarray expression analysis, we demonstrated over-expression of the insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2) gene in advanced stage epithelial ovarian cancers. The purpose of the current study is to further elucidate the role of the IGF-2 gene in ovarian cancer development and progression. Relative expression of IGF-2 was measured in 109 epithelial ovarian cancers and eight normal ovarian surface epithelial (NOSE) samples, using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Associations with clinicopathological parameters were examined. Expression of the IGF-2 gene was more than 300-fold higher in ovarian cancers compared with normal ovarian surface epithelium samples (P <0.001). High IGF-2 expression was associated with advanced stage disease at diagnosis (P <0.001), high-grade cancers (P <0.05) and sub-optimal surgical cytoreduction (P = 0.08). In multivariate analysis, relative IGF-2 expression was an independent predictor of poor survival. Expression of the IGF-2 gene is significantly higher in ovarian cancers relative to normal ovarian surface epithelium. Further, high IGF-2 gene expression is associated with high grade, advanced stage disease, and is an independent predictor of poor survival in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. As such, IGF-2 is a molecular marker and potential therapeutic target for the most aggressive epithelial ovarian cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-361
Number of pages7
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2005



  • Carcinogenesis
  • Insulin
  • Ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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