Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor a, matrix metalloproteinase 9 and extravascular matrix patterns in iris and ciliary body melanomas

Ophthalmic Res. 2007;39(1):40-4. doi: 10.1159/000097905. Epub 2006 Dec 11.


Purpose: It was the aim of this study to assess the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and extravascular matrix patterns (EMPs) in iris and ciliary body melanomas and their correlations with histopathologic parameters.

Methods: The study was conducted on 3 iris and 15 ciliary body melanomas. All tumors were subjected to immunohistochemical techniques for VEGF-A and MMP-9 expressions, the presence of EMPs was assessed, and routine paraffin sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin. Cell type, tumor localization, degree of pigmentation, necrosis, mitotic index, lymphocytic infiltration and sclera invasion were analyzed using light microscopy.

Results: The mean patient age at the time of treatment was 43 years (range 19-69, median 39.5); 10 (55.6%) patients were males and 8 (44.4%) females. Histopathological cell types were spindle cells in 55.6%, mixed cells in 16.7%, and epithelioid cell types in 27.8% of tumors. Positive reaction for VEGF-A and MMP-9 was present in 66.7 and 72.3% of the tumors, respectively. Microvascular loops and/or networks were seen in 33.4% of the tumors, with the remaining 66.7% of tumors displaying one or more of the other patterns. Metastatic disease developed in only 1 patient during follow-up. Tumor cell type, tumor size, mitotic rate, degree of pigmentation and EMPs were not correlated with metastasis.

Conclusions: This study suggests that VEGF-A and MMP-9 were positive in the majority of iris and ciliary body melanomas. No correlation was found between VEGF-A and MMP-9 immunoreactivity and EMPs and occurrence of metastases in cases of anterior uveal melanoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis
  • Ciliary Body / metabolism*
  • Ciliary Body / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Iris Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Iris Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / biosynthesis*
  • Melanoma / metabolism*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Uveal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Uveal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / biosynthesis*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9