Vascular endothelial growth factor, platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor and angiogenesis in non-small-cell lung cancer

Br J Cancer. 2000 Apr;82(8):1427-32. doi: 10.1054/bjoc.1999.1129.


High microvessel density, an indirect measure of angiogenesis, has been shown to correlate with increased tumour size, lymph node involvement and poor prognosis in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Tumour cell vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor (PD-ECGF) expression correlate with angiogenesis and a poor outcome in this disease. In a retrospective study VEGF and PD-ECGF expression and microvessel density were evaluated immunohistochemically in surgically resected specimens (T1-3, N0-2) from 223 patients with operable NSCLC using the VG1, P-GF.44C and JC70 monoclonal antibodies respectively. High VEGF immunoreactivity was seen in 104 (46.6%) and PD-ECGF in 72 (32.3%) cases and both were associated with high vascular grade tumours (P= 0.009 and P= 0.05 respectively). Linear regression analysis revealed a weak positive correlation between VEGF and PD-ECGF expression in cancer cells (r= 0.21; P = 0.002). Co-expression of VEGF and PD-ECGF was not associated with a higher microvessel density than VEGF or PD-ECGF only expressing tumours. Furthermore a proportion of high vascular grade tumours expressed neither growth factor. Univariate analysis revealed tumour size, nodal status, microvessel density and VEGF and PD-ECGF expression as significant prognostic factors. Tumour size (P < 0.02) and microvessel density (P < 0.04) remained significant on multivariate analysis. In conclusion, VEGF and PD-ECGF are important angiogenic growth factors and have prognostic significance in NSCLC. Furthermore the study underlines the prognostic significance of microvessel density in operable NSCLC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / blood supply
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / blood supply*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / blood supply
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Lung Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Lymphokines / analysis*
  • Microcirculation / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology*
  • Observer Variation
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Isoforms / analysis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thymidine Phosphorylase / analysis*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Thymidine Phosphorylase