Pre-operative serum vascular endothelial growth factor can select patients for adjuvant treatment after curative resection in colorectal cancer

K F Chin, J Greenman, E Gardiner, H Kumar, K Topping, J Monson
British Journal of Cancer 2000, 83 (11): 1425-31
We aim to determine the clinical usefulness of pre-operative serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as a predictor of outcome in patients undergoing curative resection for colorectal cancer. Serum VEGF was assayed by quantitative ELISA in 81 patients prior to curative resection for node-negative (n = 53) and node-positive (n = 28) disease. Median follow-up for patients without cancer death was 27 months (range 21-37). Pre-operative serum VEGF was significantly higher in patients who went on to develop metastases than those who did not (median, 713 pg ml-1 vs. 314 pg ml-1, P < 0.0001). Using multivariate Cox regression analysis, pre-operative serum VEGF was the most important prognostic factor independent of nodal status and adjuvant chemotherapy, and was superior to nodal status in predicting outcome (P < 0.00001). At 575 pg ml-1, pre-operative serum VEGF was 64% sensitive and 89% specific in predicting the development of metastases in curative resections, with a positive predictive value of 73% and a negative predictive value of 85%. Pre-operative serum VEGF is a powerful predictor of outcome following curative surgery for colorectal cancer. These data support the measurement of pre-operative serum VEGF as a method for selecting patients who require adjuvant therapy.

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