Angiogenesis in vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia

Gynecol Oncol. 1997 Mar;64(3):496-500. doi: 10.1006/gyno.1996.4582.


Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) has been reported to be a precursor of invasive vulvar cancer. Switching to the angiogenic phenotype is considered a key step in tumor growth. Microvessel density (MVD) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a highly angiogenic peptide, are important parameters of tumor angiogenesis. Forty-three histologic slides with 38 VIN I-III lesions were immunohistochemically stained for factor VIII-related antigen (F8-RA) and 44 slides with 37 VIN I-III for VEGF, since F8-RA reliably highlights tumor microvessels. Determination of MVD and VEGF expression was done by counting microvessels and VEGF-positive cells at a magnification of 200x and 400x. The highest concentration of F8-RA-stained MVD and VEGF expression was found at a small subepithelial area at the border of the VIN lesion to the stroma underneath but concentrations were low in all specimens of normal epithelium. High VEGF expression was significantly correlated to high MVD. For both MVD and VEGF expression the differences between VIN I and VIN III and between VIN II and VIN III were statistically significant (P < 0.0001). VIN III lesions are the clinical relevant precursors of invasive cancer of the vulva, as outlined by intense expression of VEGF protein and a highly dense network of microvessels underlying the dysplastic epithelium.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma in Situ / blood supply*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / pathology