Vessel counts and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor as prognostic factors in node-negative colon cancer

Arch Surg. 1997 May;132(5):541-6. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430290087018.


Background: The value of these prognostic factors was compared with that of other clinicopathologic factors such as tumor grade, tumor stage, mucin production, vascular invasion, perineural invasion, and lymphatic invasion.

Objective: To determine whether the development of distant recurrence in patients with node-negative colon cancer could be predicted using vessel count and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression.

Design: Paraffin-embedded colon cancers were immunostained for factor VIII, VEGF, basic fibroblast growth factor, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen; slides were reviewed for differentiation, mucin production, and the presence of vascular, lymphatic, and/or perineural invasion.

Setting: A large academic cancer referral center where 27 patients with node-negative colon cancer were operated on during 1988 and 1989.

Main outcome measure: The development of and interval to recurrence.

Results: Eight patients developed liver, lung, or lymph node metastases at a median of 24 months. The median follow-up for patients without cancer recurrence was 60 months. The mean tumor vessel count for those patients who remained disease-free was significantly fewer than for those patients who suffered a recurrence (20 vs 33, respectively). By univariate analysis, 3 factors- perineural invasion, vessel count, and VEGF expression- were correlated with time to recurrence. By multivariate analysis, only vessel count was significantly related to differences in time to recurrence. Expression of VEGF correlated with vessel count.

Conclusion: Vessel count and expression of VEGF may be useful for predicting distant recurrence in patients with node-negative colon cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Vessels
  • Colonic Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / analysis*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Lymphokines / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors