Studies comparing tumor neovascularity with pathological findings suggest that angiogenesis contributes to the pathogenesis of prostate cancer. We have examined 42 primary sporadic prostate tumors at different clinical stages, together with 3 prostate cancer cell lines (DU145, PC3 and LNCaP), for expression of VEGF and the gene encoding the recently identified VEGF165 isoform-specific receptor neuropilin-1, by using a quantitative reverse transcription (RT)-PCR method. We also evaluated the VEGF transcription pattern. Upregulation of VEGF and neuropilin-1 was observed in 12 and 14 tumors, respectively. The VEGF165 isoform was slighly overrepresented in tumors that overexpressed VEGF. VEGF overexpression correlated with stage II disease (p < 0.05); neuropilin-1 overexpression correlated with advanced disease (p < 0. 01) and a high Gleason grade (p < 0.02). Our observations suggest that VEGF expression could be used as a prognostic marker in early-stage prostate tumors, whereas neuropilin-1 overexpression might be a marker of aggressiveness.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.