Serum vascular endothelial growth factors a, C and d in human breast tumors.
ABSTRACT Available evidence suggests that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) a potent regulator of vasculogenesis and tumor angiogenesis may be a predictor of recurrence in breast cancer patients. We sought to determine whether VEGF serum levels (VEGF-A, VEGF-C and VEGF-D) in 377 patients with malignant and benign breast tumors differ and whether there is association between vascular growth factors, clinicopathologic features and prognosis. There was no significant difference in investigated circulating angiogenic markers between patients with malignant and non malignant lesions. We found strong correlation between VEGF-A and VEGF-D and between VEGF- C and VEGF-D. Besides serum VEGF-D levels and estrogen receptor (ER) expressions no other correlations between VEGF and clinicopathologic variables were observed. However, elevated VEGF-A and VEGF-C concentrations were associated with increased number of erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets. In Cox model values of angiogenic serum markers and recognized prognostic markers in breast cancer, VEGF-C turned out as independent prognostic factor. Our study is the first analysis showing correlation between serum concentrations of three angiogenic factors: VEGF-A, VEGF-C, VEGF-D. Associations between angiogenic cytokines and number of blood cells may be due to release of VEGF from platelets and leucocytes. Prognostic role of VEGF is still uncertain, though VEGF-C has a potential to serve as a prognostic marker.
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ABSTRACT: Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 signalling mediates communication between growth factor receptors and the cell nucleus and has been linked to several key events in the transformation process such as proliferation and invasion. We therefore sought to delineate the degree of phosphorylated ERK1/2 in breast cancer and potential links to upstream receptors such as VEGFR2, ErbB2, downstream targets, such as Ets-2, as well as clinico-pathological parameters, clinical outcome and response to tamoxifen. ERK1/2 phosphorylation was assessed by immunohistochemistry using a phospho-specific ERK1/2 antibody in three breast cancer cohorts including a total of 886 tumours arranged in tissue arrays. Cohort I consisted of 114 patients, cohort II of 248 postmenopausal patients randomized to either 2 years of tamoxifen or no adjuvant treatment and cohort III of 524 patients. Surprisingly, ERK1/2 phosphorylation correlated inversely with tumour size. Phosphorylated ERK1/2 was further associated with the presence of VEGFR2 (cohorts II and III) and the degree of phosphorylated Ets-2, indicating in vivo, a signalling cascade from VEGFR2 via ERK1/2 to Ets-2 phosphorylation. Interestingly, ERK1/2 phosphorylation correlated with better survival in untreated patients independently of lymph-node status and tumour size indicating that ERK1/2 signalling might be associated with a less aggressive phenotype. Finally, patients with oestrogen receptor positive and ERK1/2 phosphorylated tumours also had an impaired tamoxifen response.Oncogene 07/2005; 24(27):4370-9. · 7.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: An early non-invasive diagnosis of cervical cancer and its metastasis can save lives. We have shown that serum IGF-II levels can be effectively used for a specific early diagnosis of cervical cancer. Here, we shall determine if serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factors B and C (VEGF-A [corrected] VEGF-C) associated with vasculogenic and lymphogenic metastasis may be used for an early diagnosis of advanced metastatic cervical cancer and compare these levels with those of the serum IGF-II and IGF-binding protein 3 (IGF-BP3). (a) Serum levels of IGF-II, IGF-BP3, VEGF-A [corrected] (VEGF(165)) and VEGF-C (ELISA kits) were determined in: 82 controls with normal Pap smears; 29 women with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) and normal cervical biopsy; 46 ASCUS and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) on biopsy; 8 pre-therapy CIN-I; 23 successfully treated CIN-I; 75 persistent CIN-I; 14 CIN-II/III pre-therapy; 14 successfully treated CIN-II/III; 70 persistent CIN-II/III; 86 pre-therapy cervical cancer; 26 in early grades of cervical cancer; 21 in late grades of cervical cancer; 22 cervical cancer patients in remission; 50 persistent cervical cancer; 18 with ovarian cancer; and 57 with endometrial cancer. (b) Serial serum samples collected over 5 years in 5 women with progressing cervical cancer were also tested. (c) Serum and tissue VEGF-C were enumerated in 20 matched serum (ELISA) and tissue (semi-quantitative immunofluorescent antibody assay) samples from controls, early cervical cancer, late cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer patients. Student's t test, chi-square analysis and linear regression analysis were used. (a) As anticipated, serum IGF-II levels were elevated as early as ASCUS with CIN on biopsy and continued to be elevated in CIN (all grades; pre-therapy and persistent) and cervical cancer (pre-therapy, early, late and persistent). Serum IGF-II levels were normal in ASCUS with normal biopsy, successfully treated CIN-I, II/III, cervical cancer as well as pre-therapy ovarian and endometrial cancers (therapy efficacy: P < 0.0001 by chi-square analysis). Serum IGF-BP3 showed a significant decrease with advancing disease. Serum VEGF-A [corrected] levels were the highest in pre-therapy, early, advanced and persistent cervical cancer, as well as in ovarian and endometrial cancers. Serum VEGF-C levels, on the other hand, were the highest in late and persistent cervical cancers, but not in ovarian or endometrial cancers. (b) In the 5 women with serial samples, the serum levels of the growth factors showed similar trends. (c) VEGF-C levels in serum and tissue were elevated in cervical cancers especially in advanced grades, while they were normal in serum and tissue from the controls and women with ovarian and endometrial cancers. There was a highly significant positive correlation between VEGF-C and IGF-II and a negative correlation between IGF-BP3 and VEGF-C (P < 0.0001). Serum IGF-II up-regulation is specific to cervical cancer and helps in the early diagnosis of malignant proliferation, while serum VEGF-C up-regulation appears to be a unique marker for an early diagnosis of cervical cancer metastasis. VEGF-C and IGF-II systems appear to be interrelated in cervical cancer, contributing to the early malignant cell proliferation and lympho-vascular metastasis. Serum IGF-BP3 and VEGF-A [corrected] appear to be common markers for all gynecological cancers.Gynecologic Oncology 09/2005; 98(3):467-83. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) are often coexpressed in breast cancer, and potentially affect cellular pathways and key proteins such as the estrogen receptor (ER) targeted by endocrine treatment. We therefore explored the association between adjuvant tamoxifen treatment in breast cancer and expression of VEGF-A and VEGFR2, as well as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which represents a candidate gene product involved in tamoxifen resistance. Immunohistochemical expression of tumor-specific VEGF-A, VEGFR2, and HER2 was evaluated in tumor specimens from premenopausal breast cancer patients randomly assigned to 2 years of tamoxifen or no treatment (n = 564), with 14 years of follow-up. Hormone receptor status was determined in 96% of the tumors. VEGF-A, VEGFR2, and HER2 were assessable in 460, 472, and 428 of the tumors, respectively. In patients with ER-positive and VEGFR2-low tumors, adjuvant tamoxifen significantly increased recurrence-free survival (RFS; [HR] hazard ratio for RFS, 0.53; P = .001). In contrast, tamoxifen treatment had no effect in patients with VEGFR2-high tumors (HR for RFS, 2.44; P = .2). When multivariate interaction analyses were used, this difference in treatment efficacy relative to VEGFR2 expression status was statistically significant for both ER-positive (P = .04) plus ER-positive and progesterone receptor-positive tumors. We found no significant difference in tamoxifen treatment effects in relation to VEGF-A or HER2 status. Tumor-specific expression of VEGFR2 was associated with an impaired tamoxifen effect in hormone receptor-positive premenopausal breast cancer. Tamoxifen in combination with VEGFR2 inhibitors might be a novel treatment approach for VEGFR2-expressing breast cancer, and such a treatment might restore the tamoxifen response.Journal of Clinical Oncology 08/2005; 23(21):4695-704. · 18.04 Impact Factor