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Oral Oncol. 2004 Jan;40(1):13-20.

Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A, B, C, and D in oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Ehime University School of Medicine, 454 Shitsukawa, Shigenobu-cho, Onsen-gun, Ehime, 791-0295 Japan.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) A is known to play an important role in tumor angiogenesis. The additional members of the VEGF family, VEGF B, C and D have been discovered. VEGF C and D show some selectivity toward lymphatic endothelial cells. However, whether VEGF family members play a role in tumor angiogenesis and lymph node metastasis is largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to explore the role of VEGF family members in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). We evaluated the expression of VEGF family members by immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and western blotting. All VEGF members were expressed at different levels in OSCC. Immunohistological analysis of VEGF family members expression and microvessel density revealed a correlation between VEGF A and B expression and tumor angiogenesis. Although VEGF A and B expression were detected in both node-positive and node-negative OSCC, VEGF C and D expression was detected frequently in node-positive tumors compared to node-negative tumors. These findings suggest a possible relationship between the expression level of VEGF C and/or D and development of lymphatic tumor spread.

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