Background: Formation of new blood vessels is necessary for the development and spread of neoplasms more than 1 mm3 in volume, angiogenesis being responsible for formation of new from pre-existing blood vessels. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is pivotal and the best studied angiogenic factor in all human cancers. Therefore we designed this study to investigate the role of VEGF-A and VEGF-C in prostate cancer in comparison with BPH controls in a north Indian population.
Methods: In this case-control study a total of 100 subjects were included on the basis of confirmed histopathological reports, out of which 50 were prostate cancer patients and the other 50 were BPH patients with PSA levels >2 ng/ml and abnormal digital rectal examination (DRE) findings during September 2009 to August 2011 from the Department of Urology, KGMU, Lucknow, India. Plasma levels of VEGF were determined using quantitative immunoassay (ELISA- enzyme linked immunosorbent assay). Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS 15.0 version.
Results: The mean age of prostate cancer (67.6±5.72) patients was significantly higher (p=0.005) than BPH (63.6±7.92) patients. Expression of VEGF-A was not significantly higher in disease stage C1 than D1 or D2 and A or B (p=0.13) while the level of VEGF-A was significantly higher (p=0.04) in prostate cancer as compared to BPH subjects (PCa=13.0 pg/ml, BPH=6.8 pg/ml). Levels of VEGF-C were similar in both groups (PCa=832.6 pg/ml, BPH=823.7 pg/ml). In ROC curve, the area under curve (AUC) was 0.70 (95%CI: 0.60-0.80) and the cut-off value for which a higher proportion of patients was correctly classified (20%) was 26.0 pg/mL.
Conclusion: Although VEGF-A is increased in cancer prostate patients a statistically significant correlation could not be established in this study. VEGF-C was not found to be a useful biomarker.