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Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mediates neo-angiogenesis during tumour progression and is known to cooperate with the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) system to facilitate angiogenesis in a synergistic manner. In view of this, we have investigated VEGF expression in 67 cases of prostate cancer previously characterized for fibroblast growth factor-8 (FGF-8) expression. Cytoplasmic VEGF staining was detected in malignant cells in 45 out of 67 cases. Cytoplasmic staining was found in adjacent stromal cells in 32 cases, being particularly strong around nests of invasive tumour. Positive VEGF immunoreactivity in benign glands was restricted to basal epithelium. A significant association was observed between tumour VEGF and FGF-8 expression (P = 0.004). We identified increased VEGF immunoreactivity in both malignant epithelium and adjacent stroma and both were found to be significantly associated with high tumour stage (P = 0.0047 and P = 0.0002, respectively). VEGF expression also correlated with increased serum PSA levels (P = 0.01). Among positively stained tumours, VEGF expression showed a significant association with Gleason score (P = 0.04). Cases showing positive VEGF immunoreactivity in the stroma had a significantly reduced survival rate compared to those with negative staining (P = 0.037). Cases with tumours expressing both FGF-8 in the malignant epithelium and VEGF in the adjacent stroma had a significantly worse survival rate than those with tumours negative for both, or only expressing one of the two growth factors (P = 0.029). Cox multivariate regression analysis of survival demonstrated that stromal VEGF and tumour stage were the most significant independent predictors of survival. In conclusion, we report for the first time a correlation of both tumour and stromal VEGF expression in prostate cancer with clinical parameters as well as its correlation to FGF-8 expression.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





576 - 583


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cohort Studies, Endothelial Growth Factors, Fibroblast Growth Factor 8, Fibroblast Growth Factors, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Lymphokines, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Metastasis, Prognosis, Prostatic Neoplasms, Regression Analysis, Survival Analysis, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors