Prognostic role of serum vascular endothelial growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor and nitric oxide in patients with colorectal carcinoma
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Recently, angiogenesis has gained an increasing interest as a prognostic factor in a variety of solid tumours. In this study we aimed to assess the prognostic role of serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (b-FGF) and nitric oxide (NO) levels in patients with colorectal carcinoma (CRC). A total of 52 consecutive colorectal cancer patients with stage I to IV disease was included. In addition to routine laboratory and staging procedures, serum VEGF, b-FGF levels, and nitrate levels as a surrogate marker for in-vivo NO production were assayed. Serum VEGF concentrations, adjusted to the platelet count were found to be a significant factor for overall survival in univariate analysis (P = 0.033). A new angiogenic index (AI), derived from serum VEGF and nitrate concentrations, was established. AI is the only independent prognostic factor of survival in all patients (P = 0.008, Cox regression analysis). Likewise, AI is also significant prognostic factor for disease-free survival (DFS) in patients with operable CRC (P = 0.032, Cox regression analysis). In conclusion, serum VEGF and NO levels have prognostic role in patients with CRC and the new angiogenesis index using the serum levels of the factors seem to be useful. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.