There is an increasing need for the identification of novel biological markers and potential therapeutic targets in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Given the critical role of growth factors in the biology of EOC, we aimed in the present study to evaluate the intratumoral expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) proteins and their clinical relevance in a cohort of 100 patients with EOC. All patients received platinum-based chemotherapy after surgery. A comparative immunohistochemical study of normal ovarian and EOC tissues showed that both growth factors were expressed at higher levels in tumor samples. In our statistical analysis, while no association existed between the FGF expression status and the clinicopathological characteristics of patients, intratumoral VEGF was identified as a potential biomarker for the prediction of ascites formation. In addition, the expression status of VEGF appeared to independently predict overall survival and response to chemotherapy. Furthermore, a direct association was demonstrated between the pre-treatment VEGF expression and serum CA125 after three cycles of chemotherapy. In sum, we report for the first time to our knowledge the correlation between intratumoral VEGF and serum CA125 in EOC. Our data also shows the prognostic value of VEGF expression in EOC. These results suggest the potential value of intratumoral VEGF in patient stratification. Dual inhibition of VEGF and CA125 might bring about a better outcome for patients with EOC.
- epithelial ovarian cancer
- fibroblast growth factor