The associations between serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), IGF-II and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP)-3 and risk of breast cancer were investigated in a nested case-control study involving 117 cases (70 premenopausal and 47 postmenopausal at blood collection) and 350 matched controls within a cohort of women from the island of Guernsey, UK. Women using exogenous hormones at the time of blood collection were excluded. Premenopausal women in the top vs bottom third of serum IGF-I concentration had a nonsignificantly increased risk for breast cancer after adjustment for IGFBP-3 (odds ratio (OR) 1.71; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.74-3.95; test for linear trend, P=0.21). Serum IGFBP-3 was associated with a reduction in risk in premenopausal women after adjustment for IGF-I (top third vs the bottom third: OR 0.49; 95% CI: 0.21-1.12, P for trend=0.07). Neither IGF-I nor IGFBP-3 was associated with risk in postmenopausal women and serum IGF-II concentration was not associated with risk in pre- or postmenopausal women. These data are compatible with the hypothesis that premenopausal women with a relatively high circulating concentration of IGF-I and low IGFBP-3 are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





1283 - 1287


Adult, Breast Neoplasms, Case-Control Studies, Female, Great Britain, Humans, Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3, Insulin-Like Growth Factor I, Insulin-Like Growth Factor II, Middle Aged, Postmenopause, Premenopause, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors