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Clinicopathologic study of vascular endothelial growth factor, thrombospondin-1, and microvessel density assessed by CD34 in patients with stage III ovarian carcinoma
  1. V. Karavasilis*,
  2. V. Malamou-Mitsi,
  3. E. Briasoulis*,
  4. E. Tsanou,
  5. E. Kitsou and
  6. N. Pavlidis*
  1. * Department of Medical Oncology, Ioannina University Hospital, Greece
  2. Department of Laboratories of Pathology, Ioannina University Hospital, Greece
  3. Ioannina General Hospital “G. Hatzicosta”, Ioannina, Greece
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Prof. Nicholas Pavlidis, MD, Department of Medical Oncology, Ioannina University Hospital, Ioannina 45500, Greece. Email: npavlid{at}


The aim of the study was to investigate angiogenesis in patients with advanced-stage ovarian carcinoma. We used paraffin-embedded tumor tissues from 33 patients diagnosed with FIGO III ovarian cancer who had optimal surgery and received platinum-based chemotherapy. The tissue expression of CD34, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) was assessed immunohistochemically. CD34 stained hot spot areas were used to evaluate tumor microvessel density (MVD). VEGF and TSP-1 were assessed by semiquantitative methods. The studied molecules were investigated for relationship with standard clinicopathologic parameters. MVD count was high: median value of 39, range 12–143 microvessels/mm2. VEGF was present in all cases and stained strong in 91%. Stroma staining for TSP-1 was weak in 79% of the cases, strong in 6%, and absent in five (15%). We did not find correlations between the three studied markers and histologic type or tumor grade. MVD score did not relate to VEGF or TSP-1. We only observed a trend toward a longer survival in patients with tumors expressing high TSP-1 (60 vs. 36 months, P= 0.1). Proangiogenetic factor VEGF is highly expressed in advanced-stage ovarian carcinomas. The findings of this study may offer support for considering VEGF-targeted therapeutics in ovarian cancer treatment research.

  • angiogenesis
  • CD34
  • microvessel density
  • ovarian carcinoma
  • thrombospondin-1
  • vascular endothelial growth factor

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