Purpose: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) have been suggested to be important mediators for tumor-induced angiogenesis. We measured serum VEGF and bFGF levels from patients with soft-tissue sarcomas and correlated serum VEGF and bFGF levels with tumor status at surgery and histological grading.
Materials and methods: A group of 18 healthy controls and 85 patients with soft-tissue sarcoma were enrolled in this study. The patients were classified according to tumor status at surgery. Serum levels of VEGF and bFGF were also correlated with histological grading. VEGF and bFGF levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Quantikine R&D Systems).
Results: Serum VEGF and bFGF levels were significantly elevated in the patient group (VEGF: 580pg/ml, bFbF: 21pg/ml, P = 0.0001). The highest concentrations of serum VEGF and bFGF were found in patients with macroscopic tumor lesions or G3 histology. Serum VEGF levels showed a statistically significant correlation with tumor status and grading (P = 0.006 for tumor status, P = 0.0001 for grading).
Conclusions: This study reveals that elevated preoperative serum VEGF and bFGF levels can be detected in the majority of patients with soft-tissue sarcoma. The significant correlation with tumor mass and histological grading suggests that a consecutive monitoring of VEGF and bFGF in the serum of patients with soft-tissue sarcoma might be a valuable marker for tumor follow-up.