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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol > Volume 19(4); 2001 > Article
The Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 2001;19(4): 335-344.
The Expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) is a Highly Significant Prognostic Factor in Stage IB Carcinoma of the Cervix
Ik Jae Lee, Kyung Ran Park, Jong Young Lee, Kang Kyoo Lee, Ji Sun Song, Kwang Gil Lee, Dong Soo Cha, Hyun Il Choi
The aim of this study was to clarify the role of VEGF expression as an independent prognostic factor and to identify the patients at high risk for poor prognosis in stage IB cervical cancer.
A total of 118 patients with stage IB cervical cancer who had radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection were included in the study. All known high risk factors of the patients were pathologically confirmed from the surgical specimen. Of the 118 patients, 88 patients were treated with postoperative radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. VEGF expression was examined using immunohistochemistry in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens of post-hysterectomy surgical materials. A semiquantitative analysis was made using a scoring system of 0, +, + +, and + + + for increasing intensity of stain. We classified the patients with scores from 0 to + + as low VEGF expression and the patients with a score of + + + as high VEGF expression.
Of the 118 patients, 35 patients (29.7%) showed high VEGF expression. Strong correlations were found between the high VEGF expression and both deep stromal invasion (p=0.01) and the positive pelvic node (p=0.03). The 5-year overall and disease-free survival rates for all 118 patients were 95.5% and 93.8%. The 5-year overall (p=0.03) and disease-free survival (p<0.001) rates were 98.5% and 100% for low VEGF expression (0, +, and + +) and 85.5% and 79.7% for high VEGF expression, respectively. Pelvic and distant failures for low versus high VEGF expression were 1.2% versus 17.1%, (p=0.001) and 0% versus 14.3% (p<0.001), respectively. In a Cox multivariate analysis of survival, the high VEGF expression (p=0.02) and the bulky mass (p=0.02) were significant prognostic factors for overall survival. The high VEGF expression (p=0.002), and bulky mass (p=0.01) demonstrated as significant prognostic indicators for disease free survival.
These results showed that VEGF expression was a highly significant predictor for pelvic and distant failure and the most significant prognostic factor of overall and disease free survival for the patients with stage IB cervix cancer treated with radical surgery. We strongly suggest that the immunohistochemistry for VEGF expression be performed in a routine clinical setting in order to identify the patients at high risk for poor prognosis in early stage cervical cancer. Furthermore, postoperative and/or chemotherapy did not reduce the pelvic failure and distant metastasis. To improve the cure rate for the patients with high VEGF expression in stage IB cervical cancer, antiangiogenic therapy including anti- VEGF Ab may be a new treatment option.
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