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Br J Cancer. 2007 Oct 8;97(7):978-85. Epub 2007 Oct 2.

Where is VEGF in the body? A meta-analysis of VEGF distribution in cancer.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a major target for the inhibition of tumour vascularisation and the treatment of human cancer. Many tumours produce large quantities of VEGF, and as a result, diagnosis and prognosis of cancer may be predicted by measuring changes in VEGF concentrations in blood. In blood, the VEGF may be located in the plasma, or in the blood-borne cells and formed elements, in particular, platelets and leukocytes. In this study, we collate the measurements of VEGF in platelets, leukocytes, plasma and serum for breast, prostate, colorectal and other cancers. In addition, we analysed the concentration of VEGF in tumour tissue itself, as well as for other tissues in the human body. Although the concentration of VEGF in tumours is high, the size of tumours is small compared to other tissues, in particular, skeletal muscle. Thus, the total quantity of VEGF in tumours and in blood is small compared to the quantity in muscles. This large reservoir of VEGF may have important implications for the treatment of cancer.

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