Objectives: We attempted to determine if the degree of angiogenesis can serve as a prognostic factor in the case of completely resected non-small cell lung cancer patients, with special reference to the center and the periphery of the tumor tissue.
Method: For 255 Japanese patients who underwent completely resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), micro vessel density (MVD) was assessed by visual quantification of microvessels immunostained with anti-CD34 monoclonal antibody in 5 m section. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was also immunostained on the same paraffin block specimen.
Results: MVD at the center (MVD-c) and that at the periphery (MVD-p) were frequently different in each individual although a weak positive correlation was observed (r=0.499, P<0.0001). One hundred and one patients with high MVD-p, but not the 107 patients with high MVD-c, showed a significantly higher proportion of advanced stage, larger tumor size and nodal metastasis as compared with MVD. The 5 year survival rate and median survival time for the high MVD-p group were significantly lower than that of low the MVD-p group (43.0%/31 months vs 48.6%/54 months, P=0.0256). As to the relationship among vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and MVD, expression of VEGF was not associated with the degree of MVD. However, patients with high grade MVD-p showed an unfavorable prognosis in cases of high expression of VEGF.
Conclusion: High MVD-p is associated with advancement of NSCLC, and it was particularly apparent in conjunction with high VEGF expression.