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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e55309. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055309. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-C) as a diagnostic and prognostic marker in patients with ovarian cancer.

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  • 1Department of Transfusion, The First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.


VEGF-C is regarded as one of the most efficient factors in regulating lymphangiogenesis. The aim of this study was to better understand the role of VEGF-C in the progression of ovarian cancer and to assess its diagnostic and prognostic significance. A total of 109 patients with ovarian cancer, 76 patients with benign ovarian diseases, and 50 healthy controls were recruited in this study. Serum levels of VEGF-C were determined by ELISA method. The results showed that serum levels of VEGF-C were significantly higher in the patients with ovarian cancer than those with benign ovarian diseases and healthy controls (P<0.01). Serum level of VEGF-C was correlated with FIGO stage, lymph node metastasis, tumor resectability, and survival of the patients (P<0.05). The areas of receiver operating curves of VEGF-C were higher than those of CA125 in different screening groups. Analysis using the Kaplan-meier method indicated that patients with high VEGF-C had significantly shorter overall survival time than those with low VEGF-C (P<0.0001). In a multivariate analysis along with clinical prognostic parameters, serum VEGF-C was identified as an independent adverse prognostic variable for overall survival. These results indicated that serum VEGF-C may be a clinically useful indicator for diagnostic and prognostic evaluation in ovarian cancer patients.

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