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Gynecol Oncol. 2008 Sep;110(3):445-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2008.04.038. Epub 2008 Jun 20.

Up-regulation of VEGF, c-fms and COX-2 expression correlates with severity of cervical cancer precursor (CIN) lesions and invasive disease.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.



To describe the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), proto-oncogene macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor (c-fms) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in cervical carcinogenesis and to analyze the correlation of VEGF with c-fms and COX-2 expression.


In this study, 26 cases of benign cervix, 28 low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN; CIN 1), 30 high-grade CIN (CIN 2/3) and 28 squamous cervical carcinomas (SCC) were examined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and analysis was performed separately for epithelium and stroma.


Positive epithelial expressions in normal cervix, low-grade CIN, high-grade CIN and SCC were, respectively: VEGF - 11.5%, 39.3%, 53.3% and 75% (P<0.001); c-fms - 0%, 10.7%, 40% and 67.9% (P<0.001); COX-2 - 7.7%, 39.3%, 80% and 100% (P<0.001). Stromal VEGF expression was higher than epithelial expression in all CIN grades and was also associated with the lesion grade, while c-fms and COX-2 stromal expression was weak. VEGF expression was statistically correlated to c-fms and COX-2 expression in high-grade CIN (P=0.020 and P=0.027, respectively) and SCC (P=0.015 and P=0.005, respectively).


On the basis of our findings, these factors may participate in the development and progression of CIN lesions, with possible interaction of c-fms and COX-2 on VEGF expression, and may be potential molecular targets for studies of cervical cancer prevention and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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