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Eur J Cancer. 1999 Mar;35(3):485-9.

Vascular endothelial growth factor is implicated in early invasion in cervical cancer.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Okayama University Medical School, Japan.


The association between the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and clinicopathological factors has scarcely been examined in cervical cancer. This study examines the level of VEGF messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in invasive cervical cancer and its association with clinicopathological features including microvessel density. The level of VEGF mRNA was assessed by semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using beta-actin as an internal control in 66 patients with stages Ia-IVb invasive cervical cancer. In 42 patients who underwent surgery, the microvessel count was also assessed by immunostaining for factor VIII-related antigen in the most neovascularised area of the specimen. The highest level of VEGF mRNA expression was observed in early invasive cervical cancers. Except for stage IVb, the stage of the disease inversely correlated with the level of VEGF mRNA (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the level of VEGF mRNA with respect to histological cell types. 38 patients with stages Ib-IIb cervical cancer underwent radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy. There was no significant difference in the level of VEGF mRNA with respect to lymph node metastasis, depth of stromal invasion, tumour size, parametrial involvement or vaginal involvement among these patients. A significant relationship was found between the microvessel density and the level of VEGF mRNA (P < 0.01). These findings provide evidence that the expression of VEGF is involved in the promotion of angiogenesis in cervical cancer and plays an important role in early invasion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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