Horizons in Diabetes and Metabolism

The Role for Insulin and Insulin-like Growth Factors in the Increased Risk of Cancer in Diabetes

Derek LeRoith, Eyal J. Scheinman and Keren Bitton-Worms


Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are at increased risk of developing cancer. This evidence arises from numerous epidemiologic studies that relate a positive association between T2D and cancer. In-vitro and several in-vivo experiments have attempted to discern the potential mechanistic factors involved in this relationship. Candidates include hyperinsulinemia, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2) signaling. These studies demonstrated that increased insulin, IGF-1, and IGF-2 signaling through the insulin receptor and IGF-1 receptor can induce cancer development and progression.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2011;2(2):e0043