Purpose: Serum vascular endothelial growth factor-A has been associated with stage of disease and prognosis in colorectal cancer. In this study, the clinical usefulness of preoperative serum vascular endothelial growth factor-A concentrations in the long-term follow-up of colorectal cancer patients was evaluated.
Methods: Serum vascular endothelial growth factor-A levels were determined by quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 93 patients prior to resection for colorectal cancer: node-negative (n = 41) and node-positive (n = 52). Median follow-up for patients without cancer death was 54 (interquartile range, 24-63.5) months.
Results: The median preoperative serum vascular endothelial growth factor-A level of these patients was 168 (interquartile range, 48-414) pg/ml. Seven patients had local recurrences with a median time of 6 (interquartile range, 4-12) months. Patients (n = 17) that developed metastasis had a median time of 17 (interquartile range, 7-42) months. Patients with local recurrence had significantly higher levels of serum vascular endothelial growth factor-A (P = 0.01). By classifying the patients into two groups, using the maximal chi-squared value of the Cox's regression based on our previous work, it was found that a serum vascular endothelial growth factor-A level >575 pg/ml is an independent prognostic factor for predicting tumor recurrence.
Conclusion: Patients with colorectal cancer who have preoperative serum vascular endothelial growth factor-A levels >575 pg/ml are more likely to develop recurrence. Trials are warranted to investigate the efficacy of adjuvant therapy for this high-risk group.