Immunohistochemical expression of VEGF predicts response to platinum based chemotherapy in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer

G K Siddiqui, A B Maclean, K Elmasry, A Wong te Fong, R W Morris, M Rashid, R H J Begent, G M Boxer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: For patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cytoreduction, with a combination of taxane and platinum, is the standard of care. Despite this, approximately 50% of patients with advanced disease will relapse and moreover 15-20% of cases of EOC are resistant to platinum based chemotherapy. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), an angiogenic factor, is associated with poor prognosis. This study was undertaken to examine whether there is an association between VEGF-A expression in the tumour of EOC patients and their response to platinum based chemotherapy.

METHODS: The study cohort consisted of 66 patients with advanced stage EOC (FIGO III-IV). Ovarian cancer tissue was analysed for VEGF-A expression immunohistochemically. Protein expression was measured and correlated, with platinum sensitivity and overall patient survival.

RESULTS: Median age of patients was 53 years, 45 patients had platinum sensitive disease (68%), the remaining patients being platinum resistant (32%). Of the platinum resistant group, 18 (86%) patients had high VEGF score compared to only 1 (2%) with high VEGF score in the platinum sensitive group. Median survival was 11 months in the patient group with high VEGF score versus 32 months in that cohort with low VEGF score. VEGF expression was significantly inversely correlated with overall survival (P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that tumours of patients with platinum resistant EOC exhibit higher levels of VEGF expression compared to the platinum sensitive group. VEGF in EOC, may be of clinical and therapeutic relevance and suggests a role for first line anti-angiogenic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-61
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
  • Ovarian Neoplasms
  • Platinum
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Young Adult


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