Purpose: To determine the predictive value of the angiogenic serum factors angiogenin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) for the prognosis of patients with malignant melanoma.
Patients and methods: Angiogenin, VEGF, bFGF, and IL-8 were measured in sera of 125 melanoma patients with different stages of disease and with or without current therapy including interferon alfa and different cytostatics in comparison with 30 healthy controls using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: Serum levels of angiogenin, VEGF, bFGF, and IL-8 were significantly increased in melanoma patients compared with healthy controls. Elevated serum concentrations of VEGF, bFGF, and IL-8 were associated with advanced disease stages and tumor burden. Cytostatic therapy of patients was accompanied by increased serum levels of angiogenin, bFGF, and IL-8. As shown by univariate analysis, elevated serum levels of VEGF (P = .0001 and .0036), bFGF (P < .00005 and < .00005), and IL-8 (P < .00005 and < .00005) were strongly correlated with a poor overall and progression-free survival, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed stage of disease (P = .0238), tumor burden (P = .0347), VEGF (P = .0036), bFGF (P = .0252), and IL-8 (P = .0447) as independent predictive factors of overall survival. Tumor burden (P = .0081), VEGF (P = .0245), and IL-8 (P = .0089) were found as independent predictive factors of progression-free survival.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that the angiogenic serum factors VEGF, bFGF, and IL-8 are useful predictive markers for overall and progression-free survival in melanoma patients.