Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in renal cell carcinoma and the relation to angiogenesis and p53 protein expression

J Surg Oncol. 2001 May;77(1):55-60. doi: 10.1002/jso.1066.


Background and objectives: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) seems to play an important role in tumor angiogenesis. The tumor-suppressor gene p53 has been thought to regulate VEGF expression. We investigated the effect of VEGF expression on renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and the correlation between the expression of VEGF and tumor angiogenesis and p53 protein expression.

Methods: Sixty-two RCCs were examined by immunohistochemical studies with anti-VEGF, anti-p53, and anti-CD34 antibodies.

Results: Forty tumors (80.6%) were classified as VEGF positive, and 28 tumors (45.2%) were positive for p53 protein. The microvessel density was 75.3 +/- 33.5. A significant correlation was found between VEGF expression and both the nuclear grade (P < 0.05) and the TNM stage (P < 0.05). The tumors with VEGF expression had a significantly higher microvessel density than those without VEGF expression (P < 0.01). There was no statistically significant correlation between p53 protein and VEGF expression. No statistically significant differences in survival were found to be associated with microvessel density, VEGF expression or p53 protein expression. By using multivariate survival analyses, nuclear grade (P < 0.05) and TNM stage (P < 0.05) were the only independent prognostic factors.

Conclusions: Our data do not show a direct regulation of VEGF expression by p53. We suggest that VEGF expression plays a role in the promotion of angiogenesis in RCC.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / blood supply
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lymphokines / biosynthesis*
  • Lymphokines / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / biosynthesis*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors