Objective: To determine the value of measuring serum concentrations of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), advanced and localized prostate cancer, and thus assess the role of angiogenesis factors as markers of malignancy and the formation of metastasis.
Patients and methods: Serum was obtained from 106 suitable patients who attended a routine clinic during the study period. A histological diagnosis was confirmed for each patient and a bone scan was positive in those with metastatic disease. The level of serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) was measured and the serum concentrations of VEGF and bFGF measured using a quantitative sandwich immunoassay technique.
Results: There was a significant difference (1.6-fold) in the serum concentration of bFGF between patients with local and advanced prostate cancer (P=0.006), but there was no significant difference for either of the growth factors between patients with BPH and metastatic prostate cancer (Mann-Whitney test).
Conclusion: The serum levels of VEGF and bFGF could not be used to distinguish benign from malignant prostatic disease; the serum PSA level is of more value than either, but the serum concentration of bFGF may be of some value in differentiating patients with local and advanced malignancy.