The role of igf/igf-1r signaling in hepatocellular carcinomas: Stemness-related properties and drug resistance

Mai Huong Thi Ngo, Han Yin Jeng, Yung Che Kuo, Josephine Diony Nanda, Ageng Brahmadhi, Thai Yen Ling, Te Sheng Chang, Yen Hua Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF)/IGF-1 Receptor (IGF-1R) signaling is known to regulate stem cell pluripotency and differentiation to trigger cell proliferation, organ development, and tissue regeneration during embryonic development. Unbalanced IGF/IGF-1R signaling can promote cancer cell proliferation and activate cancer reprogramming in tumor tissues, especially in the liver. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death, with a high incidence and mortality rate in Asia. Most patients with advanced HCC develop tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI)-refractoriness after receiving TKI treatment. Dysregulation of IGF/IGF-1R signaling in HCC may activate expression of cancer stemness that leads to TKI refractoriness and tumor recurrence. In this review, we summarize the evidence for dysregulated IGF/IGF-1R signaling especially in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated HCC. The regulation of cancer stemness expression and drug resistance will be highlighted. Current clinical treatments and potential therapies targeting IGF/IGF-1R signaling for the treatment of HCC will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1931
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2 2021


  • Cancer stemness
  • IGFs inhibitor
  • Insulin-like growth factor
  • Liver cancer
  • Targeting drug resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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