Objective: To determine whether serum vascular endothelial growth factor is an independent prognostic factor in ovarian cancer patients.
Methods: We measured vascular endothelial growth factor in pretreatment serum samples of 60 women with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stages I to IV epithelial ovarian cancer, using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The results were correlated to clinical data.
Results: The median vascular endothelial growth factor serum level in ovarian cancer patients was 466.1 pg/mL (range 69.7-2835 pg/mL). The 75% quartile was defined as a cut-off level. Elevated vascular endothelial growth factor serum levels before therapy correlated significantly with a poorer disease-free (log-rank-test, P = .003) and overall survival (log-rank-test, P = .007). Multivariate analysis revealed serum vascular endothelial growth factor to be an independent prognostic factor of overall and disease-free survival. When median pretreatment levels of vascular endothelial growth factor were grouped by tumor stage, histologic grade of tumor cells, histologic type of the tumor, lymph node involvement, age of patient, and residual tumor mass, we found a statistically significant correlation between serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor and histologic grade (Mann-Whitney U test, P = .03).
Conclusion: Vascular endothelial growth factor appears to be an additional factor for predicting the outcome of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. Owing to its independence from established prognostic factors, vascular endothelial growth factor could be used for prognostic information in clinically relevant subsets such as early-stage or lymph node-negative ovarian cancers.