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Pathol Oncol Res. 2010 Sep;16(3):337-44. doi: 10.1007/s12253-009-9211-8. Epub 2009 Oct 11.

Serum vascular endothelial growth factors a, C and d in human breast tumors.

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Department of Oncology, Wroclaw Medical University, pl. Hirszfelda 12, Wroclaw, Poland.


Available evidence suggests that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) a potent regulator of vasculogenesis and tumor angiogenesis may be a predictor of recurrence in breast cancer patients. We sought to determine whether VEGF serum levels (VEGF-A, VEGF-C and VEGF-D) in 377 patients with malignant and benign breast tumors differ and whether there is association between vascular growth factors, clinicopathologic features and prognosis. There was no significant difference in investigated circulating angiogenic markers between patients with malignant and non malignant lesions. We found strong correlation between VEGF-A and VEGF-D and between VEGF- C and VEGF-D. Besides serum VEGF-D levels and estrogen receptor (ER) expressions no other correlations between VEGF and clinicopathologic variables were observed. However, elevated VEGF-A and VEGF-C concentrations were associated with increased number of erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets. In Cox model values of angiogenic serum markers and recognized prognostic markers in breast cancer, VEGF-C turned out as independent prognostic factor. Our study is the first analysis showing correlation between serum concentrations of three angiogenic factors: VEGF-A, VEGF-C, VEGF-D. Associations between angiogenic cytokines and number of blood cells may be due to release of VEGF from platelets and leucocytes. Prognostic role of VEGF is still uncertain, though VEGF-C has a potential to serve as a prognostic marker.

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