Vascular endothelial growth factor immunostaining correlates with postoperative relapse and survival in non-small cell lung cancer

Arch Med Res. 2007 Oct;38(7):764-8. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2007.04.005. Epub 2007 Jul 12.


Background: Angiogenesis is an early step in tumor progression, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an important angiogenic factor. In this study, we investigated the prognostic significance of VEGF immunostaining in tumor tissues of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients during a 5-year follow-up period.

Methods: The study comprised 50 male patients diagnosed with NSCLC with a mean age of 57.26 +/- 8.64 years (range: 40-74 years). All patients had early stage NSCLC and none of the patients received chemo- or radiation therapy before surgery. VEGF immunostaining was performed in tumor tissues and immunoreactivity was graded as negative (0-10%), weak (10-50%), and strong (>50% tumors are stained).

Results: VEGF staining was weak in 20 (40%) specimens and strong in 13 (26%) specimens, whereas VEGF staining was negative in 17 (34%) specimens. Strong VEGF staining showed a significant correlation with both short time of relapse (p = 0.0001) and short survival (p = 0.0005). Multivariate analysis using Cox regression model was performed to determine the independent prognostic factors. Age (p = 0.029, OR: 1.05), tumor stage (p = 0.001, OR: 14.89), and VEGF staining (p = 0.006, OR: 4.65) were all found as independent prognostic factors in NSCLC.

Conclusions: Strong VEGF immunostaining in tumor tissues was found to be an important prognostic factor for time to relapse and survival in patients with early stage disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / analysis*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A