RESEARCH PAPER
Clinical usefulness of assessing VEGF and soluble receptors sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2 in women with breast cancer
 
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1
Department of Laboratory Diagnostics, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
2
Department and Clinic of Maxillofacial Orthopedies and Orthodontic, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
3
Department of Oncological Surgery, Department of Oncology, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Anna Thielemann   

Department of Laboratory Diagnostics, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(2):293–297
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
The biological activity of VEGF depends on the presence of its specific receptors on the endothelial surface: VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, and on their soluble forms sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2. The binding of the membrane-bound receptors with VEGF affects the permeability, proliferation and migration of vascular endothelial cells. This creates the necessary conditions for the vascularisation of solid tumours and for the spread of remote metastases. The sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2 receptors are believed to be natural inhibitors of VEGF.

Objective:
To determine the clinical usefulness of VEGF and the sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2 receptors level assay in women with primary breast cancer. The assessment also took into account: patient’s age, stage of the disease, histological grade, status of the axillary lymph nodes and size of the primary tumour.

Material and Methods:
The concentrations of VEGF, sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2 were ascertained in 103 women with primary breast cancer. The concentrations of VEGF in the plasma, and those of the soluble receptors sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2 in the serum, were assessed by ELISA, R&D Systems.

Results:
The study found significantly raised concentrations of VEGF, sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2 in the serum of women with breast cancer, relative to the values obtained from the control group. It was found that with increasing clinical stages of the disease, the levels of VEGF and concentrations of sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2 also increased. Similar findings were noted when assessing the degree of the histological grade of the tumours. Significantly higher values of VEGF protein and the assessed receptors were obtained from women with metastases to the axillary lymph nodes. A positive relationship, though without statistical significance, was noted between the concentration of sVEGFR-2 and the size of the tumour.

Conclusions:
The high concentrations of the VEGF cytokine and the sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2 receptors in women with breast cancer are responsible for giving rise to the processes of tumour angiogenesis. The concentrations of the VEGF protein and the soluble forms of the receptors sVEGFR-1 and sVEGFR-2 in the serum of breast cancer patients showed positive correlations with the clinical stage of the disease. These results point to the usefulness of VEGF assessment and its soluble receptors in the clinical evaluation of patients with breast cancer.

 
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