Correlation between vascular endothelial growth factor-A expression and tumor location and invasion in patients with colorectal cancer

J Gastrointest Oncol. 2018 Dec;9(6):1099-1108. doi: 10.21037/jgo.2018.07.01.


Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) has been observed as the predominant angiogenic factor in colorectal cancer (CRC) and the assessment of microvessel density (MVD) has been used to quantify tumor neoangiogenesis. This study aimed to determine clinicopathological and prognostic significance of both angiogenic markers in the local CRC patients.

Methods: We analyzed tissue samples obtained from 81 cases with CRC. VEGF-A expression and MVD counts were immunohistochemically detected using anti VEGF-A and CD31. The assessments of both markers were classified as low and high. Correlation between VEGF-A expression and MVD value and clinicopathological characteristics were examined using Chi-square test. The overall survival (OS) was plotted using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: High VEGF-A expression was found more frequently in the rectal location (P=0.042) and T4 tumors (P=0.041) compared to their counterparts. Older patients tended to show a higher MVD value compared to younger cases (P=0.062). In addition, survival analysis showed that males had a worse OS compared to females (P=0.029), and VEGF-A expression and MVD count did not correlate with patients' survival.

Conclusions: There were significant differences of VEGF-A expression according to tumor location and T invasion. Sex, but not angiogenic markers, had an influence on the survival of CRC patients.

Keywords: Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A); colorectal cancer (CRC); microvessel density (MVD); tumor invasion; tumor location.