Objective: To evaluate vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as a marker for predicting lymph node metastasis and an independent prognostic factor of early-stage cervical carcinoma.
Methods: One hundred thirty-five women with stage IB-IIA cervical carcinoma had radical abdominal hysterectomies and pelvic lymph node dissections. Intratumoral cytosol VEGF concentrations were assayed with enzyme immunoassay. Histopathologic items and cytosol VEGF-influencing clinical outcomes were compared.
Results: Twenty-two women (16.3%) who had disease recurrence had higher levels of cytosol VEGF (1020 versus 112 pg/mg protein, P <.001) than those without recurrence. Using a cutoff value of 400 pg/mg protein resulted in best sensitivity of 75%, best specificity of 70%, positive predictive value of 41%, and negative predictive value of 92%. Only overexpressed cytosol VEGF (hazard ratio 6.44, P <.001) was an independent prognostic factor of disease-free survival. The overexpressed cytosol VEGF (hazard ratio 4.50, P =.021) and positive lymphovascular emboli (hazard ratio 4.11, P =.045) were independent prognostic factor of overall survival.
Conclusion: Cytosol VEGF might be a biomarker for the status of pelvic lymph nodes in early-stage cervical carcinoma and an independent prognostic indicator of its outcome.