Association of vascular endothelial growth factor and mast cells with angiogenesis in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma

Virchows Arch. 2000 Mar;436(3):243-8. doi: 10.1007/s004280050037.


We investigated the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and microvascular density in 54 cases of invasive laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and in ten samples of normal laryngeal tissue using immunohistochemistry methods. The study also focused on the distribution of mast cells in and around the SCCs. The microvascular density in laryngeal carcinoma tissue was higher than that in normal tissue (P = 0.02). VEGF was localized in SCCs, stromal cells, endothelial cells, minor salivary glands, and non-cancer epithelium adjacent to the tumor. VEGF expression in the tumor cells was found in 13 of 54 cases (24.1%), whereas mast cells around the carcinomas were VEGF positive in all 54 cases. Staining of VEGF in SCCs was strong in the area of high microvascular density (P = 0.0002). Using a multi-labeling subtraction immunostaining method, VEGF-positive stromal cells were classified mostly as mast cells and, in a few instances, as macrophages. VEGF staining in SCCs was associated with the mast cell count (P = 0.0001). There was no distinct correlation between VEGF expression and pTNM stage of an SCC. In conclusion, the results suggest that VEGF might be an important angiogenic factor in cancer invasion. Laryngeal cancer cells and mast cells may control the angiogenic response by releasing VEGF.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / blood supply*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lymphokines / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • Mast Cells / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors