The angiogenic switch for vascular endothelial growth factor-A and cyclooxygenase-2 in prostate carcinoma: Correlation with microvessel density, androgen receptor content and Gleason grade - Abstract

Department of Anatomy, University of Patras, School of Medicine, Patras, Greece.


Angiogenesis is essential for tumor growth and metastasis; however, angiogenic factors are not uniformly expressed in prostate carcinoma. Our aim was to determine the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in prostate carcinomas in relation to intratumoral microvessel density (MVD), tumor grade and androgen receptor (AR) status.

The expression of AR, VEGF-A and COX-2 was immunohistochemically evaluated in 24 benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and 139 prostate carcinoma cases. MVD was evaluated by CD34 immunostaining.

Nuclear AR expression was inversely related to tumor grade (p < 0.001). MVD was strongly related to tumor grade, VEGF-A and COX-2 (p < 0.001 in all comparisons). VEGF-A expression increased with tumor grade (p < 0.01) and was inversely related to stromal AR expression. COX-2 was present in both BPH and prostate carcinoma, but its expression increased with tumor grade (p < 0.01). High-grade neoplasms presented low-to-moderate VEGF staining intensity compared to strong COX-2 expression.

Both VEGF-A and COX-2 expression is positively correlated with tumor grade and MVD. However, in Gleason 8-10 tumors, VEGF expression is moderate while COX-2 immunostaining is intense, suggesting a possible switch in the role of these two angiogenic factors in poorly differentiated neoplasms.

Written by:
Gyftopoulos K, Vourda K, Sakellaropoulos G, Perimenis P, Athanasopoulos A, Papadaki E.   Are you the author?

Reference: Urol Int. 2011 Sep 10. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1159/000329289

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21912077 Prostate Cancer Section