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Melanoma Res. 2006 Oct;16(5):405-11.

Circulating serum levels of angiogenic factors and vascular endothelial growth factor receptors 1 and 2 in melanoma patients.

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1
Institute of Oncology, Istanbul University, Capa, Istanbul, Turkey. faruktas2002@yahoo.com

Abstract

Angiogenesis is essential for tumor progression and metastasis; however, the angiogenesis regulators that are biologically relevant for melanoma are still unknown. In this study, we analyzed the circulating serum levels of potent angiogenic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiogenin, transforming growth factor-beta1 and VEGF receptors, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2, in human melanoma patients. One hundred and fourteen patients with histopathologically verified cutaneous melanoma at different stages and 30 healthy controls were investigated. Serum levels of angiogenic factors and VEGF receptors were quantitatively analyzed by solid-phase enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The age of the patients (61 men and 53 women) ranged from 18 to 80 years; median age was 51 years. Serum transforming growth factor-beta1 (P < 0.001), VEGF (P = 0.006) and VEGFR1 (P = 0.007) levels were significantly higher in patients with melanoma than in the control group. No significant differences, however, exist in the serum angiogenin and VEGFR2 levels between melanoma patients and the controls. The positive correlations of elevated serum levels of transforming growth factor-beta1, VEGF and VEGFR1 with advanced stages of disease were found. Significant relationship was found only between serum levels of VEGF and VEGFR2. Elevated serum transforming growth factor-beta1 (P < 0.001) and VEGF levels (P = 0.0012) were found to be poor prognostic factors. Serum level of angiogenin and VEGF receptors, however, had no effect on survival. Our data suggest that the angiogenic serum factors, including VEGF, transforming growth factor-beta1 and VEGFR1, but not angiogenin and VEGFR2 were increased in melanoma patients, especially associated with advanced disease stages. The mechanism of VEGF regulation of angiogenesis may in part be due to enhanced proliferation of VEGFRs, especially VEGFR1.

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