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Int J Oncol. 2005 Apr;26(4):977-84.

Comparison of the prognosis indication of VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 and Tie2 receptor expression in breast carcinoma.

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Department of Pathology, Hôpital Nord, Université de la Méditerranée, Boulevard Pierre Dramard, 13916 Marseille, France.


The degree of angiogenesis in breast cancer has previously been shown to be an indicator of prognosis, and tumor microvasculature is a candidate target for new antiangiogenic therapies. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, VEGFR-1 (Flt-1) and VEGFR-2 (KDR/Flk-1), and Tie2/tek receptor tyrosine kinase in breast carcinoma. VEGF receptors and Tie2 expression was investigated using immunohistochemical assays with monoclonal antibodies on frozen sections in a series of 918 and 909 patients respectively. VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 and Tie2 were correlated with long-term (median, 11.3 years) patients' outcome. Univariate (Kaplan-Meier) analysis showed that VEGFR-1 positive tumor surface (cutoff = 5%) was significantly correlated with high metastasis risk (p=0.03) and relapse (p<0.01) in all patients, and in those with node negative tumors (p<0.001 and p<0.01 respectively), but not with overall survival. In contrast Tie2 positive tumor surface (cutoff = 7%) was significantly correlated with poor overall survival (p=0.025) and also with high metastasis risk particularly among node negative patients (p<0.01). Moreover, Tie2 immunoexpression was significantly predictive of relapse (p=0.003) in the node negative subgroup (p=0.02). In multivariate analysis (Cox model), VEGFR-1 and Tie2 immunoexpressions were identified as independent prognostic indicators. In contrast, univariate analysis showed that VEGFR-2 positive tumor surface (cutoff = 10%) was not correlated with survival or with metastasis and relapse risk. Our results suggest that VEGFR-1 and Tie2 immunohistochemical expression permits the identification of patients with poor outcome, and particularly node negative ones with a high risk for metastasis and relapse. VEGFR-1 and Tie2 immunodetection may also be considered as potential tools for selecting patients who could benefit in the future from specific antiangiogenic therapy interfering with VEGFR-1 and Tie2 activation pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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