Endoglin (CD105) and vascular endothelial growth factor as prognostic markers in colorectal cancer

Department of Pathology, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.
Modern Pathology (Impact Factor: 6.36). 02/2004; 17(2):197-203. DOI: 10.1038/modpathol.3800034
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Endoglin (CD105) has been shown to be a more useful marker to identify proliferating endothelium involved in tumor angiogenesis than panendothelial markers such as CD31. We investigated endoglin and vascular endothelial growth factor expression as possible prognostic markers in colorectal cancer. Surgical specimens from 150 patients with resected colorectal carcinomas were immunostained for endoglin, CD31 and vascular endothelial growth factor. Colorectal carcinoma cases consisted of 50 cases without lymph node metastases, 50 cases with only lymph node metastases and 50 cases with liver metastases (38 cases also had positive lymph nodes). Positively stained microvessels were counted in densely vascular foci (hot spots) at x 400 fields in each specimen. For vascular endothelial growth factor, intensity of staining was scored on a three-tiered scale. Results were correlated with other prognostic parameters. Endoglin demonstrated significantly more proliferating neoplastic microvessels than CD31 (31+/-10 vs 19+/-8/0.15 mm2 field, P<0.001). Low vascular endothelial growth factor expression within tumor cells was seen in 49 (33%) and high expression in 101 cases (67%). There was a positive correlation of endoglin, CD31 counts and vascular endothelial growth factor overexpression with the presence of angiolymphatic invasion and lymph node metastases (P<0.05). Only endoglin counts correlated significantly with liver metastases and positive vascular pedicle lymph nodes (P<0.05), while vascular endothelial growth factor showed significant correlation with the depth of invasion (P<0.01). Endoglin, by staining higher numbers of the proliferating vessels in colon carcinoma, is a more specific and sensitive marker for tumor angiogenesis than the commonly used panendothelial markers. Endoglin staining also showed prognostic significance with positive correlation with angiolymphatic invasion and metastases to lymph nodes and liver.

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