Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in locally invasive prostate cancer is prognostic for radiotherapy outcome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Melanie Green
  • Melanie M L Green
  • Crispin T. Hiley
  • Jonathan H. Shanks
  • Ian C. Bottomley
  • Richard A. Cowan


Purpose: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an important hypoxia-inducible pro-angiogenic protein that has been linked with an adverse survival outcome after radiotherapy in other cancer types: we hypothesized that this may also occur in prostate cancer. A retrospective study was, therefore, carried out to evaluate the potential of tumor VEGF expression to predict radiotherapy outcome in patients with high-risk prostate cancer. Methods and Materials: Fifty patients with locally advanced (T3 N0 M0) tumors of Gleason score ≥6, and who received radiotherapy alone as primary treatment for their disease, were studied. Vascular endothelial growth factor expression was assessed on pretreatment diagnostic tumor biopsies using a semiquantitative immunohistochemical scoring system. The results were analyzed in relation to clinicopathologic factors and patient outcome including biochemical failure and disease-specific mortality. Results: High VEGF expression was associated with a poor prognosis: in univariate log rank analysis, VEGF was the only significant prognostic factor for disease-specific survival (p = 0.035). High VEGF expression also associated with increased Gleason score (p = 0.02), but not posttreatment biochemical failure. Conclusion: High tumor expression of VEGF identified patients at high risk of failure of treatment with radiotherapy. These patients might benefit from additional treatment approaches incorporating anti-angiogenic or hypoxia-specific agents. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-90
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007