The findings come from a study in which the relationship between pre-treatment serum vascular endothelial growth factor (S-VEGF) and the clinicopathologic features of patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma were examined.
Vascular endothelial growth factor is a potent inducer of angiogenesis in malignant tumors, and an increase in S-VEGF concentration has been found in patients with various solid tumors, suggesting there is a correlation between increases in the concentration of this growth factor and tumor burden.
In the study, pre-treatment S-VEGF was measured by enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay in 24 healthy controls and 96 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
In the patients with cancer, 82 suffered with primary tumors and 14 from recurrent tumors.
Chemoradiotherapy was performed in 35 patients followed by response evaluation.
The research team, based at the University of Chiba, in Chiba, Japan, found that S-VEGF was significantly elevated in patients with primary esophageal carcinoma.
Significant differences were observed when S-VEGF was categorized by tumor size, tumor depth, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, and International Union Against Cancer TNM stage.
The patients who achieved a partial or complete response to chemoradiotherapy showed significantly less S-VEGF than those patients who were non-responders.
|S-VEGF > 451 pg/mL correlates with poor survival|
Moreover, a high (greater than 451 pg/mL) S-VEGF level was associated with poor survival, and multivariate analysis found S-VEGF to be a significant and independent prognostic factor.
The research team concludes from their study that a high S-VEGF is associated with tumor progression, poor treatment response, and poor survival in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus.