Background: Angiogenesis is necessary for growth and invasiveness of malignant tumors. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is considered to play a key role in tumor angiogenesis. Few data are available with regard to serum levels of VEGF in patients with ovarian tumors. We investigated the diagnostic value of serum VEGF in patients with ovarian neoplasms.
Materials and methods: 61 patients with ovarian neoplasms (41 ovarian carcinomas, 20 cystadenomas) and 20 healthy women were included into the study. VEGF serum concentrations were determined by a commercially available ELISA.
Results: Statistical analysis revealed significant differences in VEGF serum values of ovarian cancer patients vs. healthy controls or patients with cystadenomas. No difference could be seen between serum levels of healthy controls and women with benign ovarian tumors. For ovarian cancer patients vs. normal controls a sensitivity of 71% and a specificity of 65% resulted. The sensitivity and specificity of cancer patients vs. patients with benign neoplasms were 71% and 65%, respectively.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that VEGF has potential as a serum marker with diagnostic relevance in ovarian neoplasms.