Tumor angiogenesis as a prognostic predictor in colorectal carcinoma with special reference to mode of metastasis and recurrence

Oncology. Nov-Dec 1998;55(6):575-81. doi: 10.1159/000011915.


Tumor angiogenesis has proved to be a useful prognostic determinant for patients with various solid tumors. In this study, we investigated the quantitative expression of angiogenesis in colorectal carcinoma to determine how angiogenesis correlates with clinicopathologic factors and prognosis. One hundred twenty-seven specimens resected from patients with primary colorectal carcinoma were investigated immunohistochemically using a polyclonal antibody against factor-VIII-related antigen, and areas with the highest vascular density at the invasive tumor margin were counted at 200 times magnification. The microvessel count, defined as angiogenesis density (AD), became significantly higher with increase in histologic grade (p = 0.02) and Dukes stage (p = 0.001). AD was also significantly higher in patients with lymph node metastasis (p = 0. 005), lymphatic invasion (p = 0.042), vascular invasion (p < 0.001), and liver metastasis (p = 0.0004) than in those without. In addition, patients with synchronous distant hematogenous metastasis in stage D disease showed significantly higher AD than patients with nonhematogenous metastasis (p = 0.006). When 27 cases of disease recurrence after surgical resection with curative intent were stratified according to mode of spread, AD in cases with a hematogenous pattern of relapse proved to be significantly higher than in cases with nonhematogenous spread (p < 0.001). No significant differences were, however, found in AD when they were subdivided as to operative nodal status (p = 0.39 and 0.08 in the node-negative and the node-positive group, respectively). Multivariate analysis indicated that AD was an independent prognostic factor (p = 0.0004) in colorectal carcinoma. Quantitative evaluation of tumor angiogenesis at the invasive tumor margin is suggested to be a good prognostic indicator and a useful predictor for hematogenous spread and recurrence in patients with colorectal carcinoma.

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis