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Surgery. 1996 Mar;119(3):333-9.

Vascular endothelial growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor are potential angiogenic and metastatic factors in human breast cancer.

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  • 1First Department of Surgery, Kyushu University Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka, Japan.



Angiogenesis is a prerequisite for tumor growth and metastasis. Tumor angiogenesis may be mediated by several angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor-alpha, and basic fibroblast growth factor.


Differential mRNA expressions of VEGF, PDGF (A chain), transforming growth factor-alpha and basic fibroblast growth factor in 32 primary invasive breast tumors were examined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. We analyzed relationships between mRNA expressions of these angiogenic factors and the degree of angiogenesis, tumor size, and metastasis. Quantification of angiogenesis was achieved by the immunohistochemical staining of endothelial cells with antibody to CD31.


VEGF and PDGF-A mRNAs were expressed more frequently in breast tumors than in nontumor breast tissues, whereas no difference was found in expression frequency of either transforming growth factor-alpha or basic fibroblast growth factor mRNA. Vascular counts in tumors correlated with each expression frequency of VEGF and PDGF-A mRNA. PDGF-A mRNA was expressed more frequently in tumors with lymph node metastasis than in those without metastasis.


Expression of VEGF and PDGF mRNAs detected by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in breast tumors correlates with tumor-related characteristics of angiogenesis and metastatic potential. Analysis of these mRNAs by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction may be useful for assessing the biologic behavior of a breast tumor before surgical treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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