Background: Tumour angiogenesis and microvessel density are of prognostic significance in several human neoplasia. To investigate how tumour vascularity correlates with disease-free survival microvessel density was assessed in 38 patients with ovarian cancer using the highly specific endothelial marker CD 34.
Methods: Representative specimens were obtained and stained using monoclonal CD 34 antibodies. The microvessels were quantified at 200x and 400x magnification in the most active areas of neovascularisation. Degree of angiogenesis was correlated with histologic tumour type, grading, and tumour stage. Furthermore, survival was calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis and results again correlated with the microvessel count.
Results: No correlation was found between microvessel density, histologic type, grading, and FIGO stage. Patients with a vessel count more than 40 (200x magnification) had a statistically significant lower overall survival (p = 0.022).
Conclusion: Our results indicate that CD 34 is a useful marker in determining tumour neovascularisation which might be of prognostic relevance in patients with ovarian cancer.