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World J Gastroenterol. 2016 Jun 21;22(23):5422-9. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i23.5422.

Endocan-expressing microvessel density as a prognostic factor for survival in human gastric cancer.

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Yuan Chang, Department of Anesthesiology, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan 250021, Shandong Province, China.



To investigate the expression of endocan in tumour vessels and the relationships between endocan and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and prognosis in gastric cancer.


This study included 142 patients with confirmed gastric cancer in a single cancer centre between 2008 and 2009. Clinicopathologic features were determined, and an immunohistochemical analysis of endocan-expressing microvessel density (MVD) (endocan-MVD), VEGF and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) was performed. Potential relationships between endocan-MVD and clinicopathological variables were assessed using a Student's t-test or an analysis of variance test. Spearman's rank correlation was applied to evaluate the relationship between endocan-MVD and the expression of VEGF/VEGFR2. Long-term survival of these patients was analysed using univariate and multivariate analyses.


Positive staining of endocan was observed in most of the gastric cancer tissues (108/142) and in fewer of the normal gastric tissues. Endocan-MVD was not associated with gender or histological type (P > 0.05), while endocan-MVD was associated with tumour size, Borrmann type, tumour differentiation, tumour invasion, lymph node metastasis and TNM stage (P < 0.05). According to the Spearman's rank correlation analysis, endocan-MVD had a positive correlation with VEGF (r = 0.167, P = 0.047) and VEGFR2 (r = 0.410, P = 0.000). The univariate analysis with a log-rank test indicated that the patients with a high level of endocan-MVD had a significantly poorer overall survival rate than those with a low level of endocan-MVD (17.9% vs 64.0%, P = 0.000). The multivariate analysis showed that a high level of endocan-MVD was a valuable prognostic factor.


Endocan-MVD significantly correlates with the expression of VEGF and VEGFR2 and is a valuable prognostic factor for survival in human gastric cancer.


Endocan; Gastric cancer; Microvessel density; Survival; Vascular endothelial growth factor

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