Clinical significance of preoperative serum vascular endothelial growth factor, interleukin-6, and C-reactive protein level in colorectal cancer.BMC Cancer. 2010 May 14; 10:203.BC
Angiogenesis is a multistep process in which many growth factors and cytokines have an essential role. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent angiogenic agent that acts as a specific mitogen for vascular endothelial cells through specific cell surface receptors. The interleukin-6 (IL-6) pathway is another mechanism linking angiogenesis to malignancy. C-reactive protein (CRP), a representative marker for inflammation, is known for its association with disease progression in many cancer types. The aim of this study was to determine preoperative serum levels of VEGF, IL-6, and CRP in colorectal carcinoma, and to correlate them with disease status and prognosis.
A 132 of 143 patients who underwent curative resection for colorectal cancer were enrolled in this study. 11 patients with resection margin positive were excluded. Factors considered in analysis of the relationship between VEGF, IL-6, and CRP and histological findings. Patient prognosis was investigated. Serum levels of VEGF and IL-6 were assessed using Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA), and CRP was measured using immunoturbidimetry.
Median follow-up duration was 18.53 months (range 0.73-43.17 months) and median age of the patients was 62 years (range, 26-83 years). Mean and median levels of VEGF and CRP in colorectal cancer were significantly higher than in the normal control group; 608 vs. 334 pg/mL and 528 (range 122-3242) vs. 312 (range 16-1121) (p < 0.001); 1.05 mg/dL vs. 0.43 mg/dL and 0.22 (range 0.00-18.40) vs. 0.07 (range 0.02-6.94) (p = 0.002), respectively. However mean and median level of IL-6 in patients were not significantly higher than in control; 14.33 pg/mL vs. 5.65 pg/mL and 6.00 (range 1.02-139.17) vs. 5.30 (4.50-13.78) (p = 0.327). Although IL-6 and CRP levels were not correlated with other pathological findings, VEGF level was significantly correlated with tumor size (p = 0.012) and CEA (p = 0.038). When we established the cutoff value for VEGF (825 pg/mL), IL-6 (8.09 pg/mL), and CRP (0.51 mg/dL) by Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve, we noted that high VEGF levels tended to reduce overall survival (p = 0.053), but not significantly. However, IL-6 and CRP demonstrated no significance with regard to disease free survival (p = 0.531, p = 0.701, respectively) and overall survival (p = 0.563, p = 0.572, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that VEGF (p = 0.032), CEA (p = 0.012), lymph node metastasis (p = 0.002), and TNM stage (p = 0.025) were independently associated with overall survival.
Preoperative serum VEGF and CRP level increased in colorectal cancer patients. High VEGF level has been proposed as a poor prognostic factor for overall survival in patients with colorectal cancer.