Clinical significance of co-expression of VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 in non-small cell lung cancer.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) expression, VEGFR-3 expression, lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). METHODS: Seventy-six NSCLC samples were stained for VEGF-C, VEGFR-3 and CD34 with immunohistochemical methods. Assessment of lymphatic vessel density (LVD) and microvessel density (MVD) was performed. The expressions of VEGF-C in 24 fresh NSCLC samples were determined with Western blot assay. RESULTS: Of the 76 NSCLC cases, 55 were VEGF-C positive and 40 were VEGFR-3 positive in cancer cells. A significant positive correlation was found between VEGF-C expression and VEGFR-3 expression in cancer cells (P < 0.05). VEGF-C expression was negatively associated with differentiation of tumor cells (P < 0.05). VEGF-C expression and VEGFR-3 expression were positively associated with lymph node metastasis and lymphatic invasion (P < 0.05). LVD was positively related to VEGF-C expression, lymph node metastasis, lymphatic invasion and clinical stage (P < 0.05). There was a significant correlation between LVD and MVD (R = 0.732, P < 0.05). Patients with positive VEGF-C expression had worse outcomes than those with negative VEGF-C expression (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In NSCLC, VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 are related to the lymphangiogenesis, angiogenesis, and occurrence and development of lung cancers. VEGF-C expression could be a useful predictor of poor prognosis in NSCLC.
Li, Q; Dong, X; Gu, W; Qiu, X; Wang, E
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