Oncotarget

Research Papers:

High serum vascular endothelial growth factor C predicts better relapse-free survival in early clinically node-negative breast cancer

José Maañón, Diego Perez, Alejandro Rhode, Gonzalo Callejón, Francisco Rivas-Ruiz, Elisabeth Perez-Ruiz, Isabel Rodrigo, Belén Ramos, Francisco Medina, Rosa Villatoro, Maximino Redondo and Antonio Rueda _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:28131-28140. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25577

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Abstract

José Maañón1,*, Diego Perez2,*, Alejandro Rhode3, Gonzalo Callejón4, Francisco Rivas-Ruiz5, Elisabeth Perez-Ruiz2, Isabel Rodrigo6, Belén Ramos7, Francisco Medina8, Rosa Villatoro2, Maximino Redondo9 and Antonio Rueda2

1Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit, Breast Cancer Unit, Hospital Costa de Sol, Málaga University, Málaga, Spain

2Medical Oncology Unit, Breast Cancer Unit, Hospital Costa de Sol, (REDISSEC), Marbella, Málaga, Spain

3Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit, Breast Cancer Unit, Hospital Costa de Sol, Marbella, Málaga, Spain

4Clinical Analysis Laboratory Unit, Hospital Costa de Sol, Marbella, Málaga, Spain

5Support for Research Unit, Hospital Costa de Sol, (REDISSEC), Marbella, Málaga, Spain

6Pathology Unit, Breast Cancer Unit, Hospital Costa de Sol, Marbella, Málaga, Spain

7Radiology Unit, Breast Cancer Unit, Hospital Costa de Sol, Marbella, Málaga, Spain

8General and Digestive Surgery Unit, Breast Cancer Unit, Hospital Costa de Sol, (REDISSEC), Marbella, Málaga, Spain

9Hospital Tumor Registry, Hospital Costa de Sol, (REDISSEC), Marbella, Málaga, Spain

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Antonio Rueda, email: arueda@hcs.es

José Maañón, email: jcm@hcs.es

Keywords: breast cancer; sentinel lymph node biopsy; clinically node negative; VEGF-C; relapse-free survival

Received: October 07, 2017     Accepted: May 19, 2018     Published: June 15, 2018

ABSTRACT

A recent meta-analysis indicated that higher tumoral expression of vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) was related to poorer relapse-free and overall survival in breast cancer patients. However, a retrospective study found that higher circulating VEGF-C levels were associated with better survival in breast cancer patients. In 2009, we initiated a prospective study to determine the utility of preoperative serum VEGF-C levels for predicting the risk of sentinel lymph node involvement in early breast cancer and to assess serum VEGF-C levels as a prognostic factor for relapse-free and overall survival. We analyzed serum samples from 174 patients with early breast cancer who underwent sentinel lymph node biopsies. VEGF-C levels were determined using an ELISA. Serum VEGF-C levels were normally distributed, with a median value of 6561.5 pg/mL, and did not correlate with any other clinical or pathological variables. During a median follow-up period of 58 months, the five-year relapse-free survival rate was higher in patients with VEGF-C levels above the median than in patients with lower levels (95.3% vs. 85.9%, p < 0.04). No association was found between VEGF-C levels and overall survival. Our study demonstrates that the prognosis was better for early breast cancer patients with high serum VEGF-C levels.


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