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Correlation between vascular endothelial growth factor C expression and prognosis in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinomas after Ivor–Lewis esophagectomy

Authors

  • Zhi-Gang SUN,

    1. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University
    2. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Jinan Center Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Shandong University
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  • Zhou WANG,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University
      Zhou Wang, MD, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan 250021, China. Email: wangzhouszg@126.com
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  • Min ZHANG

    1. Department of Dermatology, Jinan Center Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, China
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Zhou Wang, MD, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan 250021, China. Email: wangzhouszg@126.com

Abstract

Aim:  To investigate the correlation between vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) expression and prognosis in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

Method:  In all, 92 ESCC specimens were re-evaluated by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to detect VEGF-C mRNA. Correlations between VEGF-C expression and clinicopathological factors were analyzed using χ2 test. The log–rank test was used to calculate survival rate and disease-free survival. A Cox regression multivariate analysis was performed to determine independent prognostic factors.

Results:  VEGF-C mRNA expression was correlated with tumor invasion (P < 0.01), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.025), tumor stage (P < 0.01) and lymphatic invasion (P < 0.001). The 5-year survival rate in patients was significantly associated with tumor invasion (P < 0.001), lymph node metastasis (P < 0.001), tumor stage (P < 0.001) and VEGF-C mRNA expression (P = 0.001). The 5-year survival rate of patients without VEGF-C mRNA expression was significantly higher than that of the patients with VEGF-C mRNA expression (P = 0.001). Cox regression multivariate analysis confirmed that tumor invasion was the only relevant independent factor. The 5-year disease-free survival rate of patients without VEGF-C mRNA expression in esophageal cancer tissues was also significantly higher than that of the patients with VEGF-C mRNA expression (P < 0.001). Cox regression multivariate analysis confirmed that tumor invasion and VEGF-C mRNA expression were independent factors for 5-year disease-free survival.

Conclusion:  VEGF-C expression correlates with poor survival in ESCC patients. However, it is not an independent prognostic factor.

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