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Br J Cancer. 1998 Jun;77(11):1870-4.

Concentration of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the serum of patients with suspected ovarian cancer.

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Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital of Vienna, Austria.


As a promoter of angiogenesis, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is believed to play a pivotal role in tumour growth and metastasis. The aim of this study was to determine the value of preoperative serum VEGF levels in the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer and in the differential diagnosis of adnexal masses. We examined preoperative serum VEGF levels in healthy women (n = 131), patients with benign ovarian cysts (n = 81) and in ovarian cancer patients (n = 44) by using an ELISA (R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN, USA). A logistic regression model was carried out to determine the influence of VEGF and CA 125 on the probability of malignancy. VEGF revealed a significant influence on the odds of presenting with malignancy vs healthy women (P = 0.001). At 363.7 pg ml(-1), VEGF achieved a sensitivity of 54% and a specificity of 77%. With respect to the differentiation between benign cysts and ovarian cancer, CA 125 (P < 0.0001) but not VEGF (P = 0.229) predicts the presence of malignancy in a multivariate model. In conclusion, VEGF does not appear to be a useful tool in the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer or for indicating the absence or presence of malignancy in patients with an adnexal mass.

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