Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is associated with reduced severity of acute graft-versus-host disease and nonrelapse mortality after allogeneic stem cell transplantation

Bone Marrow Transplant. 2006 Jul;38(2):149-56. doi: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1705410. Epub 2006 Jun 5.


This study investigated whether or not there is a correlation between the changes in the serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the outcome of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). Eighty-five patients undergoing allo-SCT were prospectively studied. The serum VEGF levels were measured on days 0, +7 and +14 after transplantation. The VEGF levels decreased significantly on day +7 and recovered on day +14. The highest levels from day +7 through day +14 were categorized by cluster analysis, which were then correlated with the nonrelapse mortality (NRM). There was a significant correlation between a low VEGF level and the occurrence of severe acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) including grade III-IV (P=0.029). The 1-year probability of NRM in patients with a low VEGF level was 22.5% compared with 3.5% for those with a high VEGF level (P=0.024). Multivariate analysis revealed clinically defined infections (P=0.011), advanced disease (P=0.014) and a low VEGF cluster (P=0.05) to be significantly associated with the occurrence of NRM in the cohort. In conclusion, low VEGF levels after allo-SCT are associated with NRM with an exacerbated severity of acute GVHD. VEGF monitoring after a transplant might identify those patients at risk of severe transplant-related mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • Graft vs Host Disease / complications*
  • Graft vs Host Disease / prevention & control
  • Graft vs Host Disease / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Survival Rate
  • Transplantation Conditioning / methods
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / blood*


  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A