Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors have been utilized for the treatment against advanced or recurrent cervical carcinoma as a novel therapeutic modality. However, the expression level of VEGF in post-radiotherapy relapsed/persistent cervical cancer remains to be elucidated. The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression of VEGF and associated molecules using tumor samples from patients with post-radiotherapy relapsed/persistent cervical cancer. From a database of 826 patients who were treated at our institution between 2003 and 2015, eight patients with post-radiotherapy relapsed/persistent cervical cancer were identified, and 20 patients who underwent initial surgery alone were used as a control. Using samples from these patients, the expression levels of VEGF-A, VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR-1) and hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) were immunohisto-chemically categorized as negative or weakly, moderately, or strongly positive according to the size of the staining area, and intensity. In carcinoma cells, the expression levels of VEGF-A, VEGFR-1 and HIF-1α were significantly higher in post-radiotherapy relapsed/persistent cervical cancer compared with control patients (P=0.0003, 0.0003, and 0.0001, respectively). In stroma cells, similar tendencies with statistical significance were observed (P=0.0014 and P<0.0001, respectively). In addition, the expression levels of VEGF-A and VEGFR-1 in carcinoma cells were significantly correlated with each other (P<0.0001). A significantly higher expression of VEGF was identified in post-radiotherapy relapsed/persistent cervical cancer compared with typical specimens from cervical cancer. The findings provide a novel insight into the clinical treatment for recurrent/persistent cervical cancer using a VEGF antagonist.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research