The present study evaluated the serum levels of known angiogenic factors and analysed their prognostic significance in patients with acute or chronic leukemia. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were performed to quantify the basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), angiogenin, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in stored samples obtained before treatment from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML; 30 patients), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL; 10 patients), and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML; 14 patients). The levels of VEGF, HGF, angiogenin, and MMP-9 were all significantly higher in patients with CML than in healthy individuals. The HGF levels were also higher in patients with AML than in healthy individuals, plus there was a significant correlation between the HGF level and the white blood cell count, monocyte count, and serum level of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in patients with AML. In a univariate analysis, age and HGF level were both found to be significant parameters predictive for an achievement of complete remission (CR) in patients with AML. Meanwhile, in a multivariate analysis using a logistic regression model, the HGF level was the only parameter strongly predictive for CR (P=0.047). The leukemia-free survival (LFS) rate for AML patients with a lower HGF concentration was better than that for AML patients with a higher HGF concentration (1 year LFS rates=75.0% vs. 37.5%, P=0.065). The HGF concentration was an independent prognostic factor for an achievement of CR, plus higher HGF concentrations were associated with a lower survival in patients with AML.