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Cancer Res. 2001 Mar 15;61(6):2533-6.

Vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor urine levels as predictors of outcome in hormone-refractory prostate cancer patients: a cancer and leukemia group B study.

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  • 1University of California at San Francisco, Comprehensive Cancer Center, 94143-0324, USA.


Better prognostic markers are needed for hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) patients. No single biochemical or clinical parameter can reliably predict patient response to therapy or rapidity of disease progression. Peptide factors involved in major cancer growth pathways, such as tumor angiogenesis, are attractive candidates as markers of low- and high-risk HRPC patients. We analyzed prospectively collected urine specimens from 100 of 390 HRPC patients undergoing therapy with the growth factor antagonist suramin as part of CALGB 9480. Levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) were assessed from day 1 of therapy (D1) and day 29 (D29) urine samples from this subset of 100 randomly selected patients. Growth factor levels were determined by standardized ELISA microtiter plate assays from a commercial (bFGF) or proprietary (VEGF) source. Pretreatment urine VEGF levels were predictive of survival. In univariate analysis, patients whose baseline urine VEGF level was < or =28 pg/ml (the median level) had an average survival of 17 months; those with baseline VEGF >28 pg/ml had a significantly shorter survival of 10 months (P = 0.024). This difference corresponded to a 60% increased risk of dying for the higher urine VEGF patients (hazard ratio, 1.62; P = 0.03) and remained significant in multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 1.72, P = 0.02). No significant correlations between urine bFGF level or change in bFGF levels and survival were found. These results support the notion that certain peptide growth factor-mediated, mitogenic pathways are important in HRPC and that their levels can predict outcome.

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