There are conflicting associations between growth factor expression and clinicopathological variables in colorectal cancer. This study aimed to define the expression of members of the VEGF family and the receptor, VEGFR2, in primary and metastatic sites of colorectal cancer and their relationship to metastatic potential. Thirty colorectal cancers, 12 lymph node metastases and 9 liver metastases were immunostained for VEGF-A, VEGF-C, VEGF-D and VEGFR2. VEGFR2 was expressed by endothelial cells and by the malignant epithelium. VEGF-C and VEGFR2 were co-expressed in the same territory and correlated throughout the primary tumour and in metastatic lymph nodes, but not in liver metastases. Their expression at the invasive tumour edge correlated with expression in metastatic nodes. The benefit of anti-VEGF antibodies might be increased by directing additional therapies against VEGF-C or against the kinase receptors to target redundancy in the system. A component of the therapeutic benefit might be due to a direct anti-tumour effect as well as an anti-angiogenic effect.