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Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2004 Aug;3(3):386-90.

Association between vascular endothelial growth factor and metastasis after transcatheter arterial chemoembolization in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Radiology, Hunan Provincial Tumor Hospital, Changsha 410006, China.



Hypoxia up-regulates vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and stimulates the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. This study was designed to investigate the association between changes in plasma VEGF levels after transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) and HCC progression, especially in relation to metastasis.


Plasma VEGF levels were measured by quantitative sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA R&D system). Plasma VEGF levels were measured before, 3 days and 4 weeks after TACE in 30 patients with HCC. The development of metastasis was evaluated at the end of the third month after TACE.


The plasma VEGF levels of the 30 patients with HCC were 154.47+/-90.17 pg/ml. The total plasma VEGF levels after TACE increased compared with their basal levels (P<0.05), and the plasma VEGF levels had a tendency to increase in patients with heterogeneous uptake of iodizdoil and portal vein thrombosis. Follow-up for six months showed metastatic foci in 20 patients (74%) with increased plasma VEGF, but none of the patients with decreased plasma VEGF developed metastasis.


Increased plasma VEGF expression is associated with the development of metastasis in HCC after TACE.

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