Why a Growth Factor?


Anchor lead: How might a growth factor and cancer be related? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Insulin-like growth factor or IGF1 helps kids grow, but is also implicated in the development of several types of cancer, a new large study finds. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says levels of IGF1 rise in sedentary people who consume a lot of carbohydrates in their diet.

Nelson: The mechanism presumably is IGF1 levels are typically higher among people who are overfed, for lack of a better description, with diminished physical activity. This is one of the regulators that one gets when you consume high carbohydrate diets, and remember this is IGF1 levels being higher significantly before the cancer develops. That may be a connection by which some of those things do affect the risk for these cancers.  :26

Nelson says this may also be one reason obesity is also associated with many cancers and the good news is, it is a risk factor that can be modified in both those without cancer currently and cancer survivors. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.