Behind the Study: IGF-pathway Biomarkers and Lung Cancer

Dr. Alexander Pohlman from Rush Medical College, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, describes a recent review published by Oncotarget that he co-authored entitled, “The role of IGF-pathway biomarkers in determining risks, screening, and prognosis in lung cancer.”

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Behind the Study is a series of transcribed videos of researchers elaborating on their oncology-focused research published by Oncotarget. Visit the Oncotarget YouTube channel for more insights from outstanding authors.

Dr. Alexander Pohlman

Hi, my name’s Alex Pohlman, and I’m a recent graduate of Rush Medical College at Rush University Medical Center. I’ll be talking about a recent publication in Oncotarget titled, The Role of IGF Pathway Biomarkers in Determining Risks, Screening, and Prognosis in Lung Cancer.

We are inspired to take on the task of writing this review on IGF biomarkers by the abundance of available research and the pressing need for improved diagnostic and screening techniques in a cancer with such a high mortality rate, and yet little current real-world application of these biomarkers.

The field of biomarkers, for the purpose of lung cancer screening, is truly a robust and fascinating one, however, it’s also an extremely complex topic that requires extensive research and consideration of a plethora of external factors that may impact their expression.

In our review article, we looked at the IGF system and the various biomarkers within it that have been studied for risks of developing lung cancer, screening for the presence of lung cancer, and prognostic indicators during the treatment of that lung cancer. We found that the current literature most commonly referenced IGF-1 and IGF binding protein-3, or IGFBP-3, however, more recent research has expanded the search to numerous other IGF binding proteins and other related biomarkers, such as IRS-1, an IGF01 receptor molecule.

Overall, the current literature seems to show some major discrepancies in the results of studies on risk of developing lung cancer, likely owing to a surplus of external factors that may impact the IGF system.

At first, a similar trend was seen with some of the biomarkers when studied for the screening of lung cancer. For example, some studies showed high levels of IGF-1 were associated with lung cancer, while others showed the complete opposite. However, most studies did show lower levels of IGFBP-3 were associated with lung cancer, and when combined in panels of biomarkers, including a mix of IGF system biomarkers, other biomarkers, and combined with low-dose CT screening techniques, some showed a strong predictive value and diagnostic value.

Additionally, there were a surplus of studies that showed predictive value and prognostication, however, many of these studies had yet to be replicated to confirm these findings of the numerous potential IGF system biomarkers that could be used for prognostication in lung cancer.

Our hope is that this publication not only serves as a guide to future research within the field of IGF system biomarkers, but also encourages further funding, support, and implementation of these systems as we feel they show great promise and diagnosis and prognostication of lung cancer.

I’d like to thank all my fellow authors for their contributions on this paper, including Dr. Borgia, Dr. Seder, Dr. Liptay, Hita Moudgalya, Dr. Jordano, Dr. Lobato, and Dr. Gerard.

I’d also like to thank the Oncotarget journal for their smooth and easy process during publication. The online portal for submission was clear, easy to use for submitting all of our documents, our manuscript, as well as our suggested reviewers. The staff at Oncotarget also did an incredible job of reviewing our manuscript in a timely manner, while also providing us with a quality peer review full of constructive comments for improving the manuscript prior to publication. The editorial staff was also extremely quick in making any requested changes or updates where necessary. So we’re truly thankful for all of those at Oncotarget who made this publication possible.

Finally, thank you to those of you who took the time to watch this video and read our recent publication. We hope it has not only provided you with valuable information on the current state of IGF biomarkers, but also encourages you to continue on with your own research in the field. Thank you.

Click here to read the full study published by Oncotarget.

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