Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been identified as an important factor for tumor angiogenesis, which is essential for the growth, invasion, and metastasis of solid tumors. This study examines the clinical significance of VEGF subtypes in ovarian carcinoma.
Methods: Tumor specimens from 128 patients with ovarian carcinoma were evaluated for VEGF and its mRNA expression. The expression of VEGF, especially its subtypes, was determined by Western blot analysis with a sandwich enzyme immunoassay in ovarian carcinomas and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Southern blot analysis in normal ovaries that served as controls, and the relation between VEGF expression and the histologic types and clinical stages of ovarian carcinomas was analyzed.
Results: Among the four subtypes of VEGF, the populations of VEGF165 and VEGF121 were dominant in normal ovaries and ovarian carcinomas. The levels of VEGF and VEGF165 mRNA in ovarian carcinomas were significantly higher than in normal ovaries (P < 0.05). On the other hand, there was no significant difference in the levels of VEGF and VEGF165 mRNA among ovarian carcinomas classified according to histopathologic type or clinical stage.
Conclusions: This analysis suggests that VEGF165 may be elevated in all stages of ovarian carcinoma via angiogenic activity, regardless of histopathologic type.