Prognostic value of carcinoembryonic antigen and vascular endothelial growth factor tumor tissue content in colorectal cancer

Oncology. 2006;71(3-4):176-84. doi: 10.1159/000106072. Epub 2007 Jul 23.


Aim: This study was designed to assess the prognostic significance of the combined measurement of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) tissue content with respect to relapse-free and overall survival of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).

Methods: Quantitative evaluation of VEGF and CEA content was performed on protein extracts obtained from tissue biopsies from 69 CRC patients and 15 healthy donors.

Results: VEGF significantly correlated with CEA content of either tumor tissues (rho = 0.55, p < 0.0001) or corresponding normal mucosa (rho = 0.34, p < 0.005). General regression analyses demonstrated that CEA was an independent predictor of VEGF tissue content either in CRC biopsies (regression coefficient = 0.57, p < 0.0001) or normal mucosa (regression coefficient = 0.25, p < 0.05). Cox proportional hazards survival analysis showed that tumor tissue content of both VEGF and CEA had an independent prognostic value in predicting both relapse-free (hazards ratio = 5.98, p = 0.002) and overall (hazards ratio = 4.73, p = 0.007) survival, irrespective of Dukes' stage. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that an elevated tumor content of both CEA and VEGF had a negative prognostic value in respect to either relapse-free (log-rank test: 10.4, p = 0.001) or overall survival (log-rank test: 7.33, p = 0.007).

Conclusion: Tumor tissue VEGF and CEA content determination might add useful prognostic information in the management of patients with CRC.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / metabolism*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Survival Analysis
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism*


  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A