Pre-operative plasma levels of vascular endothelial growth factor A, C and D in patients with colorectal cancer

S E Duff, M Saunders, V McCredie, S Kumar, S T O'Dwyer, G C Jayson
Clinical Oncology: a Journal of the Royal College of Radiologists 2005, 17 (5): 367-71

AIMS: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C and VEGF-D are angiogenic and lymphangiogenic members of the VEGF family of growth factors. Increased VEGF-C or VEGF-D expression in human tumours may be associated with lymph-node metastasis and lymphatic invasion. Circulating plasma levels of VEGF-A, VEGF-C and VEGF-D were measured in patients with colorectal cancer, and assessed for their usefulness as a diagnostic tool for determining lymph-node metastasis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred and twenty patients with colorectal cancer and 50 healthy control patients were included in the study. Plasma growth-factor levels were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

RESULTS: No significant differences in plasma VEGF-C or VEGF-D levels were seen between patients subgrouped by clinicopathological variables. In particular, there were no differences in median plasma VEGF-C or VEGF-D level in patients with and without lymph-node involvement (VEGF-C: 11.2 U/ml [range, 4.9-51.9] vs 9.9 U/ml [4.4-93.4 U/ml]; P = 0.90; VEGF-D: 335 pg/ml [113-1102] vs 316.5 pg/ml [0-1343]; P = 0.68).

CONCLUSIONS: Circulating plasma levels of VEGF-C and VEGF-D do not allow pre-operative identification of lymph-node status in patients with colorectal cancer.

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