Background: No direct comparison has been made of the relationship between the expression of Wilms' tumor gene WT1 within tumor cells and angiogenesis in vivo.
Materials and methods: A series of 70 endometrial cancer patients who had undergone a curative resection was studied by immunohistochemistry to determine the correlation between WT1 expression, angiogenesis (proliferation of endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1, PECAM-1/CD31) and angiogenic growth factor (vascular endothelial growth factor, VEGF).
Results: A strong association was found between WT1 expression score and mean vascular density (p<0.001, n=70, ϱ=0.568). Immunohistochemistry of serial sections revealed that WT1 and VEGF were co-expressed in the same area of endometrial cancer tissue.
Conclusion: Tumor-produced WT1, which may regulate the expression of VEGF, is found to be associated with induction of angiogenesis in endometrial cancer.