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World J Gastroenterol. 2004 Mar 1;10(5):643-8.

Prognostic significance of preoperative circulating vascular endothelial growth factor messenger RNA expression in resectable hepatocellular carcinoma: a prospective study.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, China.



To investigate the prognostic value of vascular endothelial growth factor messenger RNA (VEGF mRNA) in the peripheral blood (PB) of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) undergoing curative resection.


Using a reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based assay, VEGF mRNA in the PB was determined prospectively in 50 controls and in 50 consecutive patients undergoing curative resection for HCC.


Among the isoforms of VEGF mRNA, VEGF(165) and VEGF(121) were expressed. By multivariate analysis, a higher level of VEGF(165) in preoperative PB correlated with a risk of HCC recurrence with borderline significance (P=0.050) and significantly with recurrence-related mortality (P=0.048); while VEGF(121) did not. Other significant predictors of HCC recurrence included cellular dedifferentiation (P=0.033), an absent or incomplete capsule (P=0.020), vascular permeation (P=0.018), and daughter nodules (P=0.006). The other significant parameter of recurrence related mortality was cellular dedifferentiation (P=0.053). The level of circulating VEGF mRNA, however, did not significantly correlate with tumor size, cellular differentiation, capsule, daughter nodules, vascular permeation, necrosis and hemorrhage of tumors.


The preoperative level of circulating VEGF mRNA, especially isoform VEGF(165), plays a significant role in the prediction of postoperative recurrence of HCC.

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