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BACKGROUND: Activated type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptors (IGF-1Rs) undergo internalisation and nuclear translocation, promoting cell survival. We previously reported that IGF-1R inhibition delays DNA damage repair, sensitising prostate cancer cells to ionising radiation. Here we tested the clinical relevance of these findings. METHODS: We assessed associations between IGF-1R and clinical outcomes by immunohistochemistry in diagnostic biopsies of 136 men treated with 55-70 Gy external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer, comparing results with publicly available transcriptional data in surgically treated patients. RESULTS: Following radiotherapy, overall recurrence-free survival was shorter in patients whose tumours contained high total, cytoplasmic and internalised (nuclear/cytoplasmic) IGF-1R. High total IGF-1R associated with high primary Gleason grade and risk of metastasis, and cytoplasmic and internalised IGF-1R with biochemical recurrence, which includes patients experiencing local recurrence within the radiation field indicating radioresistance. In multivariate analysis, cytoplasmic, internalised and total IGF-1R were independently associated with risk of overall recurrence, and cytoplasmic IGF-1R was an independent predictor of biochemical recurrence post radiotherapy. Insulin-like growth factor receptors expression did not associate with biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy. CONCLUSIONS: These data reveal increased risk of post-radiotherapy recurrence in men whose prostate cancers contain high levels of total or cytoplasmic IGF-1R.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





1600 - 1606


Aged, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Neoplasm Staging, Prostatic Neoplasms, Receptor, IGF Type 1