Published online Jun 28, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.3879
Revised: May 19, 2008
Accepted: May 26, 2008
Published online: June 28, 2008
AIM: To analyze the serum levels and prognostic significance of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) -A, -C, and -D, and their receptors, VEGFR-1 and -2 in gastric adenocarcinomas.
METHODS: The serum levels of VEGF family members were measured in 76 control subjects and 76 patients with gastric adenocarcinoma using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). These measurements were correlated with clinco-pathological features and survival rates.
RESULTS: The serum levels of VEGF-A and its receptor, VEGFR-1, were significantly higher in patients with gastric cancer than in healthy donors (t = 2.3, P = 0.02 and t = 4.2, P < 0.0001, respectively). In contrast, the serum levels of VEGF-D were significantly higher in control subjects than in patients (t = 2.9, P = 0.004). There was no significant difference in serum levels of VEGF-C and VEGFR-2 between patients and controls. VEGF-C was associated with advanced tumor stage and presence of metastasis. VEGFR-1 was associated with metastasis, advanced overall stage, tumor differentiation and survival. VEGFR-2 levels were associated with poor tumor differentiation. There was no significant prognostic value for any of the VEGF family members or their receptors except for VEGFR-1 where high levels were associated with a poor overall survival.
CONCLUSION: Serum VEGF levels vary significantly in the same cohort of patients with variable clinico-pathological features and prognostic values. The simultaneous measurement of VEGF receptors levels in sera may overcome the limitations of a single biomarker assay.