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Microvessel density in prostate carcinoma.

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Division of Urology, Ospedale di Circolo e Fondazione Macchi, Varese, Italy.


The objective of this work was to assess the correlation between microvessel density (MVD), pathological stage and disease recurrence in a series of patients who underwent radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer. Pathological material from 75 consecutive radical prostatectomies performed before 1994 without neo-adjuvant treatment, in which sufficient follow-up data were available, was re-examined. Paraffin embedded material was re-cut and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained. Areas of maximal angiogenesis within tumor were identified. Expression of CD34 was investigated by using the monoclonal antibody MY 10. Within the areas of maximal angiogenesis, microvessels expressing CD34 were counted and specimens were divided into two groups, one showing a count of less than 90 microvessels per microscopic field at 200 x magnification (MVD<90), the second more than 90 microvessels (MVD>90). The MVD was then related to pathological stage, Gleason score (GS) and outcome of the disease. Mean follow-up was 84 months. Clinical or biochemical progression was observed in 38.6% of patients. In low GS cases, MVD was always <90, whereas in GS 5-6, half had MVD <90 and half were >90. In high GS MVD was always >90. MVD was positively associated with a higher pathological stage. Progression of the disease was observed in 20% of MVD <90 and in 51% in MVD >90 (P=0.006). Mantel-Haensz test showed a correlation between MVD and time to progression (P<0.05). Although problems exist in methods of counting and in the cut-off number of vessels, which can discriminate the risk categories, it may be concluded that microvessel counts, using CD34 monoclonal antibody, can accurately predict the outcome of radical prostatectomy.

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