Plasma level and tissue expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in renal cell carcinoma: a prospective study of 50 cases

Hum Pathol. 2007 Oct;38(10):1489-95. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2007.02.014. Epub 2007 Jun 26.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the major factor involved in angiogenesis. Although it is known that one of the functions of VEGF is to regulate neovascularization in renal cell carcinomas, the relationship between the production of VEGF in tumor tissue and its concentration in blood has not yet been studied. The aims of this study were to determine, in a series of conventional renal cell carcinoma (CRCC) cases, (1) VEGF expression and VEGF pattern in tumor cells, (2) the relationship between VEGF expression/pattern and VEGF levels in plasma (pVEGF), and (3) the association with usual clinical and pathologic prognostic factors. Fifty patients operated on for CRCC by radical nephrectomy were included. Clinical and histologic parameters were studied. VEGF expression and VEGF pattern in tumor cells was immunohistochemically recorded. pVEGF levels and platelet count were analyzed in relation to clinical and histologic parameters. Intratumoral VEGF expression associated with a cytoplasmic VEGF pattern was significantly higher in patients with high pVEGF levels (P = .01). Both VEGF expression and pVEGF levels were significantly correlated with Fuhrman grade (P = .002 and P = .01, respectively) and tumor stage (P = .006 and P = .008, respectively). In addition, VEGF expression was also correlated with tumor necrosis (P = .001) and progression (P = .001). We demonstrated that in CRCC with tumor necrosis, VEGF expression, pVEGF levels, and platelet count were significantly higher than in CRCC with no tumor necrosis (P = .001, P = .03, and P = .001, respectively). Our results revealed that cytoplasmic VEGF expression and pVEGF levels are associated with usual prognostic factors and progression in CRCC, which may allow VEGF to be used as a prognostic marker for CRCC, especially in patients with VEGF-targeted therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Necrosis / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / analysis*


  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A