Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) overexpression has been observed in several malignant tumors, and VEGF level in serum appears to be correlated with tumor burden in cancer patients.
Patients and methods: Serum VEGF levels were measured in 70 patients with lung cancer including 23 with adenocarcinoma, 19 with squamous cell carcinoma, 3 with large cell carcinoma, and 25 with small cell carcinoma, and in 30 patients with benign lung disease and 13 healthy subjects with an enzyme immunoassay.
Results: VEGF levels (mean +/- SD; pg/ml) were 834 +/- 699 and 732 +/- 529 in patients with lung cancer and benign lung disease, respectively, and were significantly higher than those in healthy subjects (264 +/- 129) (P < 0.01). There were no differences between VEGF levels categorized by histology, disease stage, or distant metastasis for lung cancer patients.
Conclusions: Although serum VEGF levels were increased in lung cancer patients, this increase might not have been related to tumor burden.