ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: To improve the significance of insulin-like growth factor–binding protein 5 (IGFBP-5) as a prognostic and potentially predictive marker in patients with breast cancer.Experimental Design: Increased IGFBP-5 expression was identified in MCF-7 cells resistant (MCF-7R4) to the IGF-1R/insulin receptor (InsR) inhibitor BMS-536924 and its role examined by targeted knockdown and overexpression in multiple experimental models. Protein expression of IGFBP-5 was measured by immunohistochemistry in a cohort of 76 patients with breast cancer to examine correlative associations with invasive tumor fraction and outcome. The use of a combined IGFBP-5/IGFBP-4 (BPR) expression ratio was applied to predict anti-IGF-1R/InsR response in a panel of breast cancer lines and outcome in multiple breast tumor cohorts.Results: IGFBP-5 knockdown decreased BMS-536924 resistance in MCF-7R4 cells, whereas IGFBP-5 overexpression in MCF-7 cells conferred resistance. When compared with pathologically normal reduction mammoplasty tissue, IGFBP-5 expression levels were upregulated in both invasive and histologically normal adjacent breast cancer tissue. In both univariate and multivariate modeling, metastasis-free survival, recurrence free survival (RFS), and overall survival (OS) were significantly associated with high IGFBP-5 expression. Prognostic power of IGFBP-5 was further increased with the addition of IGFBP-4 where tumors were ranked based upon IGFBP-5/IGFBP-4 expression ratio (BPR). Multiple breast cancer cohorts confirm that BPR (high vs. low) was a strong predictor of RFS and OS.Conclusion: IGFBP-5 expression is a marker of poor outcome in patients with breast cancer. An IGFBP-5/IGFBP-4 expression ratio may serve as a surrogate biomarker of IGF pathway activation and predict sensitivity to anti-IGF-1R targeting. Clin Cancer Res; 18(6); 1808–17. ©2012 AACR.