IGF axis in prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and there is an urgent need to tackle its growing incidence.

Men with high blood levels of Insulin like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) are at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. There is strong evidence that high IGF-1 levels are a direct cause of the disease. We are investigating how high IGF-1 increases prostate cancer risk, aiming to find new ways to reduce the risk of prostate cancer in the future.

We have recently identified IGFs to be involved in controlling our body’s immune system to fight cancer. Our body’s defence, known as the immune system is responsible for regularly detecting and killing the cancer cells in our system. However, cancer cells are known to switch off our immune system, which allows them to grow without being detected.

This project will investigate how IGFs contribute to increased prostate cancer risk by turning off the body’s immune system, allowing cancer to grow without being noticed.

Pictured is Guillaume Rieunier PhD (Senior Postdoctoral Researcher) with Professor Val Macaulay (UCARE Trustee).