The Angiogenic Switch for Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A and Cyclooxygenase-2 in Prostate Carcinoma: Correlation with Microvessel Density, Androgen Receptor Content and Gleason GradeGyftopoulos K.a · Vourda K.a · Sakellaropoulos G.c · Perimenis P.b · Athanasopoulos A.b · Papadaki E.a
Departments of aAnatomy, bUrology and cMedical Physics, University of Patras, School of Medicine, Patras, Greece
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Article / Publication Details
Objective: Angiogenesis is essential for tumor growth and metastasis; however, angiogenic factors are not uniformly expressed in prostate carcinoma. Our aim was to determine the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in prostate carcinomas in relation to intratumoral microvessel density (MVD), tumor grade and androgen receptor (AR) status. Materials and Methods: The expression of AR, VEGF-A and COX-2 was immunohistochemically evaluated in 24 benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and 139 prostate carcinoma cases. MVD was evaluated by CD34 immunostaining. Results: Nuclear AR expression was inversely related to tumor grade (p < 0.001). MVD was strongly related to tumor grade, VEGF-A and COX-2 (p < 0.001 in all comparisons). VEGF-A expression increased with tumor grade (p < 0.01) and was inversely related to stromal AR expression. COX-2 was present in both BPH and prostate carcinoma, but its expression increased with tumor grade (p < 0.01). High-grade neoplasms presented low-to-moderate VEGF staining intensity compared to strong COX-2 expression. Conclusions: Both VEGF-A and COX-2 expression is positively correlated with tumor grade and MVD. However, in Gleason 8–10 tumors, VEGF expression is moderate while COX-2 immunostaining is intense, suggesting a possible switch in the role of these two angiogenic factors in poorly differentiated neoplasms.
© 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel
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