Aim: To investigate the expression of pathological factors of VEGF-C and its receptor FLT-4 in primary gastric cancer and adjacent normal tissues.
Methods: The expression of VEGF-C and FLT-4 was studied in 80 primary gastric cancers and adjacent normal tissues from the same patients by semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immumohistochemistry.
Results: Both primary gastric cancer and adjacent normal tissue could express VEGF-C and FLT-4, and FLT-4 expression was also detected in endothelial cells of stromal blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. There was a significant difference in expression of VEGF-C between primary tumor and adjacent normal tissue samples (P=0.01), and a statistical correlation between VEGF-C and FLT-4 expression in tumors (P=0.00886). With regard to VEGF-C expression, there was a significant difference between moderate-poor differential type and high differential type (P=0.032), and a significant difference between positive and negative lymph node metastases (P=0.024). However, there was no significant difference between positive and negative serosal invasions (P=0.219).
Conclusion: VEGF-C and its receptor FLT-4 play a role in the development of gastric cancer, and the tumors with expression of VEGF-C and FLT-4 are more likely to have lymph node metastasis.