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Int J Urol. 2005 Feb;12(2):152-8.

Vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) expression predicts lymph node metastasis of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder.

Author information

1
Department of Urology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan. s.kazu@jichi.ac.jp

Abstract

PURPOSE:

It has been found that expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) in several carcinomas is significantly associated with angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and regional lymph node metastasis. However, VEGF-C expression in bladder transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) has not yet been reported. To elucidate the role of VEGF-C in bladder TCC, we examined VEGF-C expression in bladder TCC and pelvic lymph node metastasis specimens obtained from patients who underwent radical cystectomy.

METHODS:

Eighty-seven patients who underwent radical cystectomy for clinically organ-confined TCC of the bladder were enrolled in the present study. No neoadjuvant treatments, except transurethral resection of the tumor, were given to these patients. The VEGF-C expressions of 87 bladder tumors and 20 pelvic lymph node metastasis specimens were examined immunohistochemically and the association between VEGF-C expression and clinicopathological factors, including angiogenesis as evaluated by microvessel density (MVD), was also examined.

RESULTS:

Vascular endothelial growth factor-C expression was found in the cytoplasm of tumor cells, but not in the normal transitional epithelium. Vascular endothelial growth factor-C expression was significantly associated with the pathological T stage (P = 0.0289), pelvic lymph node metastasis (P < 0.0001), lymphatic involvement (P = 0.0008), venous involvement (P = 0.0002) and high MVD (P = 0.0043). The multivariate analysis demonstrated that VEGF-C expression and high MVD in bladder TCC were independent risk factors influencing the pelvic lymph node metastasis. Moreover, the patients with VEGF-C-positive tumors had significantly poorer prognoses than those with the VEGF-C-negative tumors (P = 0.0087) in the univariate analysis. The multivariate analysis based on Cox proportional hazard model showed that the independent prognostic factors were patient age (P = 0.0132) and pelvic lymph node metastasis (P = 0.0333).

CONCLUSION:

The present study suggests that VEGF-C expression is an important predictive factor of pelvic lymph node metastasis in bladder cancer patients.

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