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Br J Cancer. 2001 Jun; 84(12): 1610–1615.
PMCID: PMC2363691

Concentration of vascular endothelial growth factor in the tumour tissue as a prognostic factor of soft tissue sarcomas


Previous studies have shown that the prognosis of patients who have tumours with high microvessel density (MVD) is worse than that of patients who have a lower density in a variety of cancers. In this study, we investigated the clinical relevance of neovascularity assessed by MVD and the concentration of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the tumour tissue of patients with soft tissue sarcoma in comparison with major clinicohistologic parameters by univariate and multivariate analysis. In 115 patients with soft tissue sarcoma, MVD was measured by counting vessels stained with factor VIII antibody. The concentration of VEGF in the tumour tissue was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. These parameters were then compared with disease outcome. The concentration of VEGF in the tumour tissue, but not MVD, was found to be correlated with disease outcome in patients with soft tissue, sarcoma. VEGF concentration in the tumour tissue showed a relationship with the clinical stage and histologic grade of the tumour. There was no significant difference in the levels of tissue VEGF concentration and MVD among soft tissue sarcomas classified according to histologic type. The level of tissue VEGF concentration in patients who had subsequent local recurrence and metastasis were significantly higher than the respective values in patients who did not have such disease outcome. No significant correlation existed between MVD and the concentration of VEGF in the tumour tissue. Univariate analysis showed that a high tissue VEGF concentration was associated with poor overall survival of the patient and a greater probability that local recurrence and metastasis had occurred. Multivariate analysis revealed that the tissue concentration of VEGF is an independent prognostic factor for the disease outcome of patients with soft tissue sarcoma. VEGF concentration in the tumour tissue, but not MVD, is an additional prognostic parameter for disease outcome in patients with soft tissue sarcoma, regardless of histologic type. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com

Keywords: microvessel density, vascular endothelial growth factor, overall survival, tumour recurrence, metastasis, soft tissuearcoma

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