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Prognostic significance of tumor angiogenesis in epithelial ovarian cancer: in association with transforming growth factor β and vascular endothelial growth factor


Murat Sönmezer, Ankara Ünivertesi Tip Fakültesi, Kadin Hastaliklari ve Dogum AD, 06100 Cebeci, Ankara, Turkey. Email:


We aimed to evaluate the prognostic significance of microvessel density (MVD), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), as well as to find out the relationship between MVD, and VEGF and TGFβ in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Surgical specimens of 47 patients with stage I–IV primary EOC, who underwent extended surgical staging according to FIGO, were investigated. Five-µm thick tissue sections were immunostained with antibody to factor VIII-related antigen, and MVD was assessed at three separate areas of ×200 magnification. Expressions for VEGF and TGFβ were evaluated by immunohistochemical staining using related monoclonal antibodies. Results were correlated with clinicopathologic factors and survival. We did not find any correlation between MVD and clinicopathologic factors, or patient survival. Similarly, there was no association between the degree of VEGF staining and survival or clinicopathologic factors, except preoperative ascites volume, which was higher in patients showing moderate and intense VEGF staining than those with weak VEGF staining (P = 0.052). The expression of TGFβ was inversely correlated with preoperative CA-125 levels (P < 0.05). Furthermore, there was no correlation between MVD and the staining intensity of VEGF or TGFβ. In conclusion, angiogenesis does not appear as a prognostic factor in EOC. We suggest that VEGF is an important mediator of ascites formation, and that TGFβ, which is supposed to have tissue-specific actions in tumorigenesis, may have growth-inhibitory functions in EOC.