Background and objectives: Angiogenic factors play a major role in tumor growth and metastasis. The purpose of this study was to clarify the prognostic significance of the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and VEGF-C in gastric carcinoma.
Methods: Formalin-fixed and paraffin embedded sections of tumor tissue were obtained from 76 patients who underwent curative gastrectomy for gastric carcinoma. Immunohistochemical staining for VEGF and VEGF-C was performed.
Results: VEGF and VEGF-C were positively expressed in 39 and 45% of the patients, respectively. No correlation existed between VEGF and VEGF-C expressions. VEGF expression was significantly correlated with venous invasion. VEGF-C expression was significantly correlated with lymphatic and venous invasion. Patients with positive staining for VEGF showed a significantly lower survival rate than VEGF negative patients. After subdivision, according to the combination of VEGF and VEGF-C expression, VEGF-C expression had a significant unfavorable impact on prognosis among patients with negative staining for VEGF. The expression of VEGF and/or VEGF-C was independent prognostic determinant by the multivariate survival analysis.
Conclusions: The positive expression for VEGF and/or VEGF-C was an important prognostic determinant after curative gastrectomy for gastric carcinoma. VEGF-C may stimulate the tumor progression in the absence of VEGF.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.