Highest microvessel count as a long-term prognostic factor in Japanese breast cancer patients

Cancer Lett. 2000 Aug 1;156(1):109-16. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(00)00449-3.


The aim of this study was to determine whether microvessel density (MVD) could add useful information in predicting the prognosis of breast cancer patients. In our study, MVD was calculated by counting microvessels per x200 field in the highest neovascularized area of the tumor (highest microvessel count, HMC). HMC significantly increased according to the increased number of positive nodes. Higher HMC significantly correlated with worse relapse-free survival (RFS) of patients with negative node, one to three positive nodes in the axilla or with stage I and II tumors. HMC, however, was not predictive for RFS of patients with four or more positive nodes or with stage III tumors. Multivariate analysis revealed that HMC was second only to nodal status and tumor size as being predictive for RFS. These results suggest that HMC could be used in selection of patients with early-stage breast cancer who are at high risk for having occult metastasis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / mortality*
  • Prognosis