Gene Summary

Gene:VEGFB; vascular endothelial growth factor B
Aliases: VRF, VEGFL
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor)/VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) family. The VEGF family members regulate the formation of blood vessels and are involved in endothelial cell physiology. This member is a ligand for VEGFR-1 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1) and NRP-1 (neuropilin-1). Studies in mice showed that this gene was co-expressed with nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes and the encoded protein specifically controlled endothelial uptake of fatty acids. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been identified. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2011]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:vascular endothelial growth factor B
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: VEGFB (cancer-related)

Samadi P, Saki S, Dermani FK, et al.
Emerging ways to treat breast cancer: will promises be met?
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2018; 41(6):605-621 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among women and it is responsible for more than 40,000 deaths in the United States and more than 500,000 deaths worldwide each year. In previous decades, the development of improved screening, diagnosis and treatment methods has led to decreases in BC mortality rates. More recently, novel targeted therapeutic options, such as the use of monoclonal antibodies and small molecule inhibitors that target specific cancer cell-related components, have been developed. These components include ErbB family members (HER1, HER2, HER3 and HER4), Ras/MAPK pathway components (Ras, Raf, MEK and ERK), VEGF family members (VEGFA, VEGFB, VEGFC, VEGF and PGF), apoptosis and cell cycle regulators (BAK, BAX, BCL-2, BCL-X, MCL-1 and BCL-W, p53 and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway components) and DNA repair pathway components such as BRCA1. In addition, long noncoding RNA inhibitor-, microRNA inhibitor/mimic- and immunotherapy-based approaches are being developed for the treatment of BC. Finally, a novel powerful technique called CRISPR-Cas9-based gene editing is emerging as a precise tool for the targeted treatment of cancer, including BC.
CONCLUSIONS: Potential new strategies that are designed to specifically target BC are presented. Several clinical trials using these strategies are already in progress and have shown promising results, but inherent limitations such as off-target effects and low delivery efficiencies still have to be resolved. By improving the clinical efficacy of current therapies and exploring new ones, it is anticipated that novel ways to overcome BC may become attainable.

Shang HS, Lu HF, Lee CH, et al.
Quercetin induced cell apoptosis and altered gene expression in AGS human gastric cancer cells.
Environ Toxicol. 2018; 33(11):1168-1181 [PubMed] Related Publications
Quercetin is one of the natural components from natural plant and it induces cell apoptosis in many human cancer cell lines. However, no available reports show that quercetin induces apoptosis and altered associated gene expressions in human gastric cancer cells, thus, we investigated the effect of quercetin on the apoptotic cell death and associated gene expression in human gastric cancer AGS cells. Results indicated that quercetin induced cell morphological changes and reduced total viability via apoptotic cell death in AGS cells. Furthermore, results from flow cytometric assay indicated that quercetin increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, decreased the levels of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨ

Han S, Huang T, Li W, et al.
Association Between Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-2α (HIF-2α) Expression and Colorectal Cancer and Its Prognostic Role: a Systematic Analysis.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 48(2):516-527 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Although some studies showed that HIF-2α expression was correlated with an unfavorable prognosis in colorectal cancer (CRC), the prognostic results remain conflicting in CRC. The present study was performed to evaluate the association between HIF-2α expression and the clinicopathological features of this disease and to examine the potential prognostic role of HIF-2α expression in CRC.
METHODS: Pooled odds ratios (ORs) or hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated from available publications, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets. Trial sequential analysis (TSA) was used to estimate the required sample information.
RESULTS: HIF-2α protein expression was more frequent in CRC than in normal colonic tissues (OR = 150.49, P < 0.001), higher in male than female CRC patients (OR = 1.47, P = 0.008), and lower in high-grade than low-grade CRC (OR = 0.49, P = 0.029). TSA verified the reliability of the above results. HIF-2α expression was not linked to the prognosis of CRC in overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS), metastasis-free survival, and relapse-free survival, and no significant correlation was found between HIF-2α alteration and OS or disease-free survival (DFS) of CRC. Expression of both HIF-2α and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFA, VEGFB, or VEGFC) was associated with a poor metastasis-free survival of CRC (HR = 6.95, HR = 113.51, and HR = 8.11, respectively). No association was observed between HIF-2α expression and DFS in other cancers, but HIF-2α expression was correlated with a worse DFS of CRC (HR = 1.23, P = 0.037). Moreover, HIF-2α expression was linked to a good survival benefit in some cancers (B-cell lymphoma and lung adenocarcinoma: OS, multiple myeloma: DSS, breast cancer: distant metastasis-free survival, liposarcoma: distant recurrence-free survival) (all HRs < 1, Ps < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: HIF-2α expression may be associated with the carcinogenesis of CRC, which is higher in males than in females, negatively linked to tumor differentiation, and correlated with a worse DFS of CRC. Additional prospective studies are needed.

Hanna DL, Loupakis F, Yang D, et al.
Prognostic Value of ACVRL1 Expression in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Patients Receiving First-line Chemotherapy With Bevacizumab: Results From the Triplet Plus Bevacizumab (TRIBE) Study.
Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2018; 17(3):e471-e488 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: No biomarkers exist to predict benefit from antiangiogenic therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer patients. ACVRL1 (activin receptor like-protein 1) encodes for ALK1, a member of the transforming growth factor-β receptor family, which directs pathologic angiogenesis. We examined the intratumoral expression of ACVRL1 and other angiogenesis pathway-related genes to identify molecular markers in the TRIBE study.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Of 503 randomized patients, 228 had sufficient tissue for analysis. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens were examined for expression of VEGF-A, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, ACVRL1, EphB4, and EGFL7 using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. A maximal χ
RESULTS: High ACVRL1 expression was associated with superior OS in both treatment arms (FOLFOXIRI [5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, oxaliplatin, irinotecan]-bevacizumab, 32.7 vs. 13.5 months, hazard ratio [HR], 0.38, P = .023; FOLFIRI [5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan]-bevacizumab, 35.1 vs. 22.0 months, HR, 0.36, P = .006) and prolonged PFS (11.7 vs. 5.9 months, multivariate HR, 0.17; P = .001) for patients receiving FOLFOXIRI-bevacizumab on univariate and multivariate analyses. In recursive partitioning analysis, ACVRL1 was the strongest discriminator of the response rate, PFS, and OS in patients receiving FOLFOXIRI-bevacizumab and of OS in patients receiving FOLFIRI-bevacizumab. In silico validation revealed significant associations between ACVRL1 expression, disease recurrence, and 1-year survival (P < .05) among all colorectal cancer stages.
CONCLUSION: ACVRL1 expression could serve as a prognostic biomarker in metastatic colorectal cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and bevacizumab and warrants further evaluation in prospective studies.

Xia L, Xiao X, Liu WL, et al.
Coactosin-like protein CLP/Cotl1 suppresses breast cancer growth through activation of IL-24/PERP and inhibition of non-canonical TGFβ signaling.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(3):323-331 [PubMed] Related Publications
Coactosin-like protein (CLP, or Cotl1), is an F-actin-binding protein, whose role in cancer is largely unknown. Here we show that CLP/Cotl1 is highly expressed in a rat epithelial breast cancer cell line (FE1.3) compared with its mesenchymal counterpart (FE1.2). Knockdown of CLP/Cotl1 in FE1.3 cells increased cell proliferation, whereas its overexpression in FE1.2 cells inhibited proliferation in culture and reduced tumor growth in xenograft assays in mice. Mechanistically, we identified two major pathways through which CLP/Cotl1 exerts its suppressive effects. First, CLP/Cotl1 re-expression in FE1.2 and in human MCF7 breast cancer cells induced expression of the growth-suppressor gene interleukin-24 (IL-24), which independently of p53 upregulates the tumor-suppressor genes p53 apoptosis effector related to PMP-22 (PERP) and p21

Lu B, Zhou Y, Su Z, et al.
Effect of CCL2 siRNA on proliferation and apoptosis in the U251 human glioma cell line.
Mol Med Rep. 2017; 16(3):3387-3394 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioma is one of the most common types of tumor of the central nervous system. Increased expression of C‑C motif chemokine 2 (CCL2) has previously been observed in various types of cancer. The effect of CCL2 small interfering (si)RNA on the proliferation, angiogenesis and apoptosis of the glioma cell line U251 was investigated in the present study. Data on CCL2 expression in glioma and normal tissues were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas. A total of 30 patients with glioma were enrolled in the present study. Cell proliferation was measured using a Cell Counting kit‑8 assay, while cellular apoptosis and cell cycle distribution were examined using flow cytometric analysis. The reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis were used to measure the expression levels of biological pathway‑associated proteins caspase‑3, caspase‑7, tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 10C (TNFRSF10C), growth regulated α protein (CXCL1), C‑X‑C motif chemokine 2 (CXCL2), C‑X‑C chemokine receptor type 2 (CXCR2), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)A, VEGFB and VEGF. In addition, the mechanism of cellular apoptosis was analyzed by examining the phosphorylation of extracellular signal‑related kinase (ERK)1/2 and p38 mitogen‑activated protein kinase (p38) in cells treated with the C‑C chemokine receptor type 2 inhibitor RS‑102895. CCL2 was observed to be expressed in the glioma cell line U251 and was inhibited by CCL2 siRNA. Cells transfected with CCL2 siRNA exhibited inhibited cell proliferation, cell cycle arrest and increased cellular apoptosis. The expression levels of the apoptosis‑associated proteins caspase‑3, caspase‑7 and TNFRSF10C were observed to be downregulated, in addition to those of the angiogenesis‑associated proteins CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCR2, VEGFA, VEGFB and VEGF. The decrease in the rate of phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and p38 demonstrated the involvement of the mitogen‑activated protein kinase/ERK pathway in apoptosis. In conclusion, CCL2 siRNA exhibited effective inhibition of cell proliferation and angiogenesis in the glioma cell line U251, which may provide a theoretical basis for the use of CCL2 in in vivo research and clinical treatment as a novel anticancer agent.

Fu H, Vadalia N, Xue ER, et al.
Thrombus leukocytes exhibit more endothelial cell-specific angiogenic markers than peripheral blood leukocytes do in acute coronary syndrome patients, suggesting a possibility of trans-differentiation: a comprehensive database mining study.
J Hematol Oncol. 2017; 10(1):74 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Current angiogenic therapies for cancers and cardiovascular diseases have not yet achieved expected benefits, which reflects the need for improved understanding of angiogenesis. In this study, we focused on solving the problem of whether tissues have different angiogenic potentials (APs) in physiological conditions and how angiogenesis is regulated in various disease conditions.
METHODS: In healthy and diseased human and mouse tissues, we profiled the expression of 163 angiogenic genes, including transcription regulators (TRs), growth factors and receptors (GF/Rs), cytokines and chemokines (C/Cs), and proteases and inhibitors (P/Is). TRs were categorized as inflammatory, homeostatic, and endothelial cell-specific TRs, and C/Cs were categorized as pro-angiogenic, anti-angiogenic, and bi-functional C/Cs.
RESULTS: We made the following findings: (1) the human heart, muscle, eye, pancreas, and lymph node are among the tissues with the highest APs; (2) tissues with high APs have more active angiogenic pathways and angiogenic C/C responses; (3) inflammatory TRs dominate regulation of all angiogenic C/Cs; homeostatic TRs regulate all to a lower extent, while endothelial cell-specific TRs mainly regulate pro-angiogenic and bi-functional C/Cs; (4) tissue AP is positively correlated with the expression of oxygen sensors PHD2 and HIF1B, VEGF pathway gene VEGFB, and stem cell gene SOX2; (5) cancers of the digestive system tend to have increased angiogenesis dominated by endothelial cell-specific pro-angiogenic pathways, while lung cancer and prostate cancer have significantly decreased angiogenesis; and (6) endothelial cell-specific pro-angiogenic pathways are significantly increased in thrombus-derived leukocytes in patients with acute coronary artery disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that thrombus-derived leukocytes express more endothelial cell-specific angiogenic markers to directly promote angiogenesis after myocardial infarction and that certain solid tumors may be more sensitive to anti-angiogenic therapies than others.

Lian M, Shi Q, Fang J, et al.
In vivo gene expression profiling for chemosensitivity to docetaxel-cisplatin-5-FU (TPF) triplet regimen in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma and the effect of TPF treatment on related gene expression in vitro.
Acta Otolaryngol. 2017; 137(7):765-772 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONCLUSION: These results provided a battery of genes relating to TPF chemotherapeutic sensitivity and might act as molecular targets in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) treatment. Moreover, these candidate biomarkers could contribute to LSCC individualized treatment.
OBJECTIVES: To screen out a set of candidate genes which could help to determine whether patients with LSCC could benefit from TPF induction chemotherapy.
METHOD: Gene-expression profiles in seven TPF-sensitive patients were compared to four resistant controls by microarray analysis. Subsequently, expression levels of potential biomarkers in chemosensitive cell line UMSCC5 after TPF treatment were observed by qRT-PCR.
RESULTS: Through microarray analysis, 1546 differently expressed genes were identified, of which 769 were up-regulated in TPF chemotherapy-responsive tissues, whereas 777 were down-regulated. Gene ontology (GO) analysis suggested these genes participating in physiological processes including cell differentiation, metabolism, signal transduction, and cellular component organization. Additionally, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database revealed that Wnt and p53 signaling pathways occupied important roles in TPF chemotherapeutic sensitivity. Moreover, in vitro cell culture experiments revealed the expression alternations of Mapk10, Jun, Vegfb, Pik3r5, Pld1, Tek, Itga6 exposed to TPF treatment by qRT-PCR, whilst providing an insight into the mechanism underlying TPF chemotherapeutic response in LSCC.

Li N, Jiang Z
Relationship between expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and the proliferation of prolactinomas.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2017; 153:102-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Prolactinomas are the most common functional hormone-producing pituitary lesions, accounting for 30-40% of all pituitary tumors, while in autopsy series their incidence reaches 50%. However, patients with prolactinoma had a higher recurrence percentage and rate than patients with acromegaly or Cushing's disease. Furthermore, prolactinomas have the highest rate of recurrence post-surgery as compared with other pituitary adenomas. At present, this behavior of prolactinoma is largely unexplained, but may be related to definition of cure, or to more frequent microscopic tumor infiltration into normal pituitary tissue, which is not removed at surgery. Many factors may influence the proliferation of pituitary adenomas, such as angiogenesis, apoptosis, growth factors, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, and hormone receptors. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays an important role in angiogenesis and vascular permeability of various brain tumors. But, little is known about the role of VEGF expression in the process of the growth of prolactinomas. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between VEGF expression and the growing of prolactinomas.
METHODS: VEGF expression was assessed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 18 prolactinomas. Clinical factors to investigate were age, gender, hormonal functioning, and radiological findings of pituitary adenomas. Radiological findings which were investigated by magnetic resonance (MR) images were tumor size. The relationship between these factors and VEGF expression was statistically analyzed.
RESULTS: VEGF was expressed in all cases (100%). VEGFA mRNA and VEGFB mRNA were expressed in all examined pituitary adenomas; the mean expression level of VEGFA mRNA was 8.67±1.59; and the mean expression level of VEGFB mRNA was 10.01±2.67. There was no significant difference in the VEGFA mRNA and VEGFB mRNA expression level among the adenomas we examined(P=0.24). There was no significant correlation between VEGFA and VEGFB mRNA expression and patient age, gender, and tumor size. However, The expression of VEGFA mRNA significantly (P<0.001)decreased in tumor groups compared to the control groups. And the expression of VEGFB mRNA significantly (P<0.05) decreased in tumor groups compared to the control groups as well.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that angiogenesis in prolactinomas may not be primarily mediated by VEGF pathway, and low level of VEGF expression may not always have significant influence in prolactinomas with a higher recurrence percentage and rate.

Cai F, Li J, Liu Y, et al.
Effect of ximenynic acid on cell cycle arrest and apoptosis and COX-1 in HepG2 cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2016; 14(6):5667-5676 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ximenynic acid is a conjugated enyne fatty acid, which is currently of interest due to its anti-inflammatory activity. Due to the association between inflammation and cancer, the present study was designed to investigate the anti‑cancer activity of ximenynic acid in the HepG2 human hepatoma cell line and the underlying mechanisms. The current study demonstrated the anti‑proliferation and pro‑apoptosis activities of ximenynic acid by cell viability assay and flow cytometry analysis. The expression of anti‑apoptosis protein silent information regulator T1 (SIRT1) was significantly suppressed by ximenynic acid. Furthermore, ximenynic acid blocked G1/S phase transition by inhibiting the protein expression of the cell cycle‑associated protein general control of amino acid synthesis yeast homolog like 2 (GCN5L2), and the mRNA expression of cyclin D3 and cyclin E1. Furthermore, ximenynic acid suppressed the expression of angiogenesis‑associated genes, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)‑B and VEGF‑C. Finally, ximenynic acid significantly inhibited the expression of cyclooxygenase‑1 (COX‑1) mRNA and protein, however COX‑2 expression was not reduced. The results of the present study suggested that ximenynic acid may inhibit growth of HepG2 cells by selective inhibition of COX‑1 expression, which leads to cell cycle arrest, and alters the apoptosis pathway and expression of angiogenic factors. The current study aimed to investigate whether ximenynic acid might be developed as novel anticancer agent.

Zhou P, Xiao N, Wang J, et al.
SMC1A recruits tumor-associated-fibroblasts (TAFs) and promotes colorectal cancer metastasis.
Cancer Lett. 2017; 385:39-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor-associated-fibroblasts (TAFs) are the most important host cells in the stroma and take part in extracellular matrix construction and cancer colony development. During cancer colonization, seed cells from primary tumor can reconstruct the microenvironment by recruiting circulating cancer cells and TAFs to the metastasis site. Previous studies have established that SMC1A, a subunit of cohesin, is an important trigger signal for liver metastasis in colorectal cancer. We investigated the particular effects as well as the underlying mechanism of SMC1A on TAFs recruitment during liver metastasis of colorectal cancer. Here, We found that: first, the high expression of SMC1A in colorectal cancer cells promotes the invasiveness and the viability of these cells by recruiting circulating TAFs, facilitating early tumor construction and tumorigenesis; second, different expression levels of SMC1A influenced the reformation of fibroblasts, which assisted tumorigenesis, and third, expression of SMC1A stimulated the secretion of the inflammatory mediators of TNF-α and IL-1β, and up-regulated the transcriptional expression of MMP2 and VEGF-β, both of which were involved in the tumor-related gene pathway.

Stremitzer S, Zhang W, Yang D, et al.
Expression of Genes Involved in Vascular Morphogenesis and Maturation Predicts Efficacy of Bevacizumab-Based Chemotherapy in Patients Undergoing Liver Resection.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2016; 15(11):2814-2821 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiogenesis-related gene expression is associated with the efficacy of anti-VEGF therapy. We tested whether intratumoral mRNA expression levels of genes involved in vascular morphogenesis and early vessel maturation predict response, recurrence-free survival (RFS), and overall survival (OS) in a unique cohort of patients with colorectal liver metastases (CLM) treated with bevacizumab-based chemotherapy followed by curative liver resection. Intratumoral mRNA was isolated from resected bevacizumab-pretreated CLM from 125 patients. In 42 patients, a matching primary tumor sample collected before bevacizumab treatment was available. Relative mRNA levels of 9 genes (ACVRL1, EGFL7, EPHB4, HIF1A, VEGFA, VEGFB, VEGFC, FLT1, and KDR) were analyzed by RT-PCR and evaluated for associations with response, RFS, and OS. P values for the associations between the individual dichotomized expression level and RFS were adjusted for choosing the optimal cut-off value. In CLM, high expression of VEGFB, VEGFC, HIF1A, and KDR and low expression of EGFL7 were associated with favorable RFS in multivariable analysis (P < 0.05). High ACVRL1 levels predicted favorable 3-year OS (P = 0.041) and radiologic response (PR = 1.093, SD = 0.539, P = 0.002). In primary tumors, low VEGFA and high EGFL7 were associated with radiologic and histologic response (P < 0.05). High VEGFA expression predicted shorter RFS (10.1 vs. 22.6 months; HR = 2.83, P = 0.038). High VEGFB (46% vs. 85%; HR = 5.75, P = 0.009) and low FLT1 (55% vs. 100%; P = 0.031) predicted lower 3-year OS rates. Our data suggest that intratumoral mRNA expression of genes involved in vascular morphogenesis and early vessel maturation may be promising predictive and/or prognostic biomarkers. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(11); 2814-21. ©2016 AACR.

Asai A, Miyata Y, Matsuo T, et al.
Changes in Lymphangiogenesis and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression by Neo-Adjuvant Hormonal Therapy in Prostate Cancer Patients.
Prostate. 2017; 77(3):255-262 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The anti-cancer mechanism of neo-adjuvant hormonal therapy (NHT) is not well understood. Lymphangiogenesis plays an important role in cancer progression and is regulated by a complex mechanism that includes vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling. However, there is little information regarding relationship between lymphangiogenesis and androgen deprivation. The aim of this study was to clarify changes in lymphangiogenesis and VEGF expression induced by androgen deprivation in prostate cancer in vivo and in vitro.
METHODS: Patients who had undergone a radical prostatectomy were enrolled in the study (NHT, n = 60 and non-NHT, n = 64). Lymph vessels were identified by D2-40 immunoreactivity and lymph vessel density and lymph vessel area (LVD and LVA, respectively) were measured from micrographs. The expression of VEGF-A, -B, -C, and -D was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. The prognostic value of LVD and LVA for biochemical recurrence was also investigated.
RESULTS: Mean LVD ± SD was higher in the NHT than in the non-NHT group (11.3 ± 3.0 vs. 7.1 ± 3.4 per high power field; P < 0.001). LVA was larger in the NHT than in the non-NHT group (512.8 ± 174.9 vs. 202.7 ± 72.8 µm
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that NHT stimulates lymphangiogenesis via upregulation of VEGF-C and -D, which may increase LVA and affect the outcome of prostate cancer patients. This findings were supported by in vitro data of prostate cancer cell. Prostate 77:255-262, 2017. © 2016 The Authors. The Prostate Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Chirac P, Maillet D, Leprêtre F, et al.
Genomic copy number alterations in 33 malignant peritoneal mesothelioma analyzed by comparative genomic hybridization array.
Hum Pathol. 2016; 55:72-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant peritoneal mesotheliomas (MPM) are rare, accounting for approximately 8% of cases of mesothelioma in France. We performed comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) on frozen MPM samples using the Agilent Human Genome CGH 180 K array. Samples were taken from a total of 33 French patients, comprising 20 men and 13 women with a mean (range) age of 58.4 (17-76) years. Asbestos exposure was reported in 8 patients (24.2%). Median (range) overall survival (OS) was 39 (0-119) months. CGH analysis demonstrated the presence of chromosomal instability in patients with MPM, with a genomic pattern that was similar to that described for pleural mesothelioma, including the loss of chromosomal regions 3p21, 9p21, and 22q12. In addition, novel genomic copy number alterations were identified, including the 15q26.2 region and the 8p11.22 region. Median OS was associated with a low peritoneal cancer index (P=.011), epithelioid subtype (P=.038), and a low number of genomic aberrations (P=.015), all of which constitute good prognostic factors for MPM. Our results provide new insights into the genetic and genomic background of MPM. Although pleural and peritoneal mesotheliomas have different risk factors, different therapeutics, and different prognosis; these data provide support to combine pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma in same clinical assays.

Zhang YH, Wang JJ, Li M, et al.
Matrix Metallopeptidase 14 Plays an Important Role in Regulating Tumorigenic Gene Expression and Invasion Ability of HeLa Cells.
Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2016; 26(3):600-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to investigate the functional effect of matrix metallopeptidase 14 (MMP14) on cell invasion in cervical cancer cells (HeLa line) and to study the underlying molecular mechanisms.
METHODS: Expression vector of short hairpin RNA targeting MMP14 was treated in HeLa cells, and then, transfection efficiency was verified by a florescence microscope. Transwell assay was used to investigate cell invasion ability in HeLa cells. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting analysis were used to detect the expression of MMP14 and relative factors in messenger RNA and protein levels, respectively.
RESULTS: Matrix metallopeptidase 14 short hairpin RNA expression vector transfection obviously decreased MMP14 expression in messenger RNA and protein levels. Down-regulation of MMP14 suppressed invasion ability of HeLa cells and reduced transforming growth factor β1 and vascular endothelial growth factor B expressions. Furthermore, MMP14 knockdown decreased bone sialoprotein and enhanced forkhead box protein L2 expression in both RNA and protein levels.
CONCLUSION: Matrix metallopeptidase 14 plays an important role in regulating invasion of HeLa cells. Matrix metallopeptidase 14 knockdown contributes to attenuating the malignant phenotype of cervical cancer cell.

Wang Y, Huang L, Wu S, et al.
Bioinformatics Analyses of the Role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(9):e0139285 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study was aimed to identify the expression pattern of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and to explore its potential correlation with the progression of NSCLC.
METHODS: Gene expression profile GSE39345 was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Twenty healthy controls and 32 NSCLC samples before chemotherapy were analyzed to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Then pathway enrichment analysis of the DEGs was performed and protein-protein interaction networks were constructed. Particularly, VEGF genes and the VEGF signaling pathway were analyzed. The sub-network was constructed followed by functional enrichment analysis.
RESULTS: Total 1666 up-regulated and 1542 down-regulated DEGs were identified. The down-regulated DEGs were mainly enriched in the pathways associated with cancer. VEGFA and VEGFB were found to be the initiating factor of VEGF signaling pathway. In addition, in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), VEGFA and VEGFB associated sub-network, kinase insert domain receptor (KDR), fibronectin 1 (FN1), transforming growth factor beta induced (TGFBI) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) were found to interact with at least two of the three hub genes. The DEGs in this sub-network were mainly enriched in Gene Ontology terms related to cell proliferation.
CONCLUSION: EGFR, KDR, FN1, TGFBI and PCNA may interact with VEGFA to play important roles in NSCLC tumorigenesis. These genes and corresponding proteins may have the potential to be used as the targets for either diagnosis or treatment of patients with NSCLC.

Lambrechts D, Thienpont B, Thuillier V, et al.
Evaluation of efficacy and safety markers in a phase II study of metastatic colorectal cancer treated with aflibercept in the first-line setting.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 113(7):1027-34 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aflibercept (ziv-aflibercept) is an anti-angiogenic agent recently approved in combination with FOLFIRI for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients previously treated with oxaliplatin. Despite heterogeneity in response to aflibercept, no biomarkers for efficacy or adverse effects have been identified. Here we present biomarker data from the randomised phase II AFFIRM trial assessing aflibercept in combination with mFOLFOX6 first line in mCRC.
METHODS: Ninety-six somatic mutations in key oncogenic drivers of mCRC and 133 common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway genes were analysed, and 27 plasma markers measured at baseline, during and after treatment. We assessed correlations of these three classes of biomarkers with progression-free survival (PFS) and adverse events (AEs).
RESULTS: Somatic mutations identified in KRAS, BRAF, NRAS, PIK3CA and PIK3R1 did not significantly correlate with PFS (multiple testing-adjusted false discovery rate (FDR) or multiple testing-adjusted FDR>0.3). None of the individual SNPs correlated with PFS (multiple testing-adjusted FDR>0.22), but at the gene level variability in VEGFB significantly correlated with PFS (multiple testing-adjusted FDR=0.0423). Although none of the plasma markers measured at baseline significantly correlated with PFS, high levels of circulating IL8 at baseline together with increased levels of IL8 during treatment were significantly associated with reduced PFS (multiple testing-adjusted FDR=0.0478). No association was found between biomarkers and AEs.
CONCLUSIONS: This represents the first biomarker study in mCRC treated with aflibercept. High IL8 plasma levels at baseline and subsequent increases in IL8 were associated with worse PFS, suggesting that IL8 may act as a potentially predictive biomarker of aflibercept treatment outcome.

Bittoni A, Piva F, Santoni M, et al.
KRAS mutation status is associated with specific pattern of genes expression in pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Future Oncol. 2015; 11(13):1905-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: To evaluate potential differences at a molecular level between KRAS mutant tumors (MT) and KRAS wild-type (WT) pancreatic tumors and the biological and prognostic significance of different KRAS mutations.
MATERIALS & METHODS: Expression of a panel of 29 genes was analyzed in KRAS WT and MT tumors. Effects of KRAS mutation and gene expression levels were assessed on patients' survival.
RESULTS: MUC6 (p = 0.009), HGF (p = 0.011), VEGFR-2 (p = 0.020) and VEGFB (p = 0.026) were significantly more expressed and SMAD4 was less suppressed (p = 0.003) in WT KRAS. Contrariwise, SHH (p = 0.012) and IHH (p = 0.031) were more expressed in MT KRAS patients. No OS difference was found between WT and MT KRAS tumors.
CONCLUSION: KRAS mutation status seems to identify two different subtypes of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma with similar outcome but distinct molecular features and probably different therapeutic targets.

Jayasinghe C, Simiantonaki N, Kirkpatrick CJ
Cell type- and tumor zone-specific expression of pVEGFR-1 and its ligands influence colon cancer metastasis.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:104 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Detailed knowledge of the essential pro-angiogenic biomolecules, the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family and its receptors, in the characteristically heterogeneous tumor tissue is a pre-requisite for an effective personalized target therapy. The effects of VEGF receptors after ligand binding are mediated through receptor tyrosine autophosphorylation. We determined the relevance of the VEGFR-1 activating pathway for colon cancer (CC) metastasis.
METHODS: The expression profiles of VEGFR-1, phosphorylated (activated) VEGFR-1 (pVEGFR-1(Tyr1048), pVEGFR-1(Tyr1213) and pVEGFR-1(Tyr1333)) and the VEGFR-1 ligands (VEGF, PlGF and VEGF-B) were investigated using immunohistochemistry in different tumor compartments (intratumoral - invasive front - extratumoral), cell types (tumor cells - macro- (large and small vessels) and the microvasculature (capillaries) - inflammatory cells) in human sporadic non-metastatic, lymphogenous metastatic and haematogenous metastatic CC.
RESULTS: VEGF and PlGF produced by tumor cells have an autocrine affinity for their receptor VEGFR-1. Subsequent PlGF-mediated receptor activation by autophosphorylation at Tyr1048 and Tyr1213 is a potential signaling pathway, which in turn seems to protect against distant metastasis and, in regions of tumor budding, additionally against lymph node metastasis. This autocrine link could be supported by possible formation of PlGF-VEGF heterodimers and PlGF-PlGF homodimers, which are known to have anti-metastatic properties. In contrast, in order to enhance their potential for distant metastasis tumor cells produce paracrine-acting VEGF-B. VEGFR-1 activation in tumor-associated macrovasculature but not capillaries appears to affect metastatic ability. Paracrine-mediated receptor autophosphorylation at Tyr1048 and Tyr1213 in small vessels located intratumorally and along the invasive front appears to be inversely correlated with metastasis, especially distant metastasis. Additionally, macrovessels are able to produce VEGFR-1 ligands, which influence the metastatic potential. Paracrine-acting VEGF-B production by intratumorally located small vessels and autocrine-acting PlGF production by extratumorally located small vessels seem to be associated with the non-metastatic phenotype. In contrast, VEGF-B-expressing extratumoral large and small vessels correlate with distant metastasis. Lymphocyte-associated VEGFR-1 expression in the invasive front without accompanying autophosphorylation could prevent against distant metastasis possibly by acting as a decoy and scavenger receptor.
CONCLUSION: VEGFR-1 and its ligands participate in vascular, tumor cell-mediated and immuno-inflammatory processes in a complex biomolecule-dependent and tumor zone-specific manner and hence could influence metastatic behavior in CC.

Wang P, Chen SH, Hung WC, et al.
Fluid shear promotes chondrosarcoma cell invasion by activating matrix metalloproteinase 12 via IGF-2 and VEGF signaling pathways.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(35):4558-69 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
Interstitial fluid flow in and around the tumor tissue is a physiologically relevant mechanical signal that regulates intracellular signaling pathways throughout the tumor. Yet, the effects of interstitial flow and associated fluid shear stress on the tumor cell function have been largely overlooked. Using in vitro bioengineering models in conjunction with molecular cell biology tools, we found that fluid shear (2 dyn/cm(2)) markedly upregulates matrix metalloproteinase 12 (MMP-12) expression and its activity in human chondrosarcoma cells. MMP-12 expression is induced in human chondrocytes during malignant transformation. However, the signaling pathway regulating MMP-12 expression and its potential role in human chondrosarcoma cell invasion and metastasis have yet to be delineated. We discovered that fluid shear stress induces the synthesis of insulin growth factor-2 (IGF-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) B and D, which in turn transactivate MMP-12 via PI3-K, p38 and JNK signaling pathways. IGF-2-, VEGF-B- or VEGF-D-stimulated chondrosarcoma cells display markedly higher migratory and invasive potentials in vitro, which are blocked by inhibiting MMP-12, PI3-K, p38 or JNK activity. Moreover, recombinant human MMP-12 or MMP-12 overexpression can potentiate chondrosarcoma cell invasion in vitro and the lung colonization in vivo. By reconstructing and delineating the signaling pathway regulating MMP-12 activation, potential therapeutic strategies that interfere with chondrosarcoma cell invasion may be identified.

Wu MY, Xie X, Xu ZK, et al.
PP2A inhibitors suppress migration and growth of PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells through inhibition on the Wnt/β-catenin pathway by phosphorylation and degradation of β-catenin.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(2):513-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
Cantharidin is an active constituent of mylabris, a traditional Chinese medicine, and presents strong anticancer activity in various cell lines. Cantharidin is a potent and selective inhibitor of serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Our previous studies revealed the prospect of application of cantharidin, as well as other PP2A inhibitors, in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. However, the mechanisms involved in the anticancer effect of PP2A inhibitors have not been fully explored. The Wnt/β‑catenin pathway is involved in cell migration and proliferation and participates in the progression of pancreatic cancer. If β‑catenin is phosphorylated and degraded, the Wnt/β‑catenin pathway is blocked. PP2A dephosphorylates β‑catenin and keeps the Wnt/β‑catenin pathway active. In the present study, we found that PP2A inhibitor treatment induced phosphorylation and degradation of β‑catenin. The suppression on the migration and growth of PANC‑1 pancreatic cancer cells could be attenuated by pretreatment with FH535, a β‑catenin pathway inhibitor. Microarray showed that PP2A inhibitor treatment induced expression changes in 13 of 138 genes downstream of the β‑catenin pathway. Real‑time PCR further confirmed that FH535 attenuated the expression changes induced by PP2A inhibitors in 6 of these 13 candidate genes. These 6 genes, VEGFB, Dkk3, KRT8, NRP1, Cacnalg and WISP2, have been confirmed to participate in the migration and/or growth regulation in previous studies. Thus, the phosphorylation- and degradation-mediated suppression on β‑catenin participates in the cytotoxicity of PP2A inhibitors. Our findings may provide insight into the treatment of pancreatic cancer using a targeting PP2A strategy.

Yang L, Yang L, Tian W, et al.
Resveratrol plays dual roles in pancreatic cancer cells.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2014; 140(5):749-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although the potential anticancer effect of resveratrol (RSV) on pancreatic cancer has been reported, its mechanism was not fully understood. The role of vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) in cancer remains controversial. Herein, we aimed to examine whether the anticancer effect of RSV was related to the VEGF-B.
METHODS: The effect of RSV on pancreatic cancer cell line (capan-2 cells) was evaluated by CCK-8 assay, Hoechst 33342 staining, and flow cytometry. The mRNA level of VEGF-B was measured by real-time PCR. VEGF-B expression was knockdown by small interfering RNA (siRNA).The protein levels of VEGF-B, glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3β), and Bax were measured by Western blot.
RESULTS: Resveratrol treatment inhibited tumor growth, induced apoptosis, and up-regulated Bax expression in capan-2 cells. The mRNA and protein levels of VEGF-B were up-regulated after RSV treatment. However, VEGF-B siRNA treatment increased the apoptotic rate, and inhibited tumor activator GSK-3β, while Bax expression was not affected. The combination of RSV and VEGF-B siRNA showed significantly higher apoptotic rate in comparison with RSV or VEGF-B siRNA mono-treatment group.
CONCLUSIONS: Resveratrol plays dual roles in pancreatic cancer: as a tumor suppressor via the up-regulation of Bax; as a tumor activator via the up-regulation of VEGF-B; and the anticancer effect of RSV is much stronger than the cancer promotion effect. The combination of RSV with pharmacological inhibitor of VEGF-B might, therefore, be a promising modality for clinical pancreatic cancer therapy.

Shahneh FZ, Baradaran B, Zamani F, Aghebati-Maleki L
Tumor angiogenesis and anti-angiogenic therapies.
Hum Antibodies. 2013; 22(1-2):15-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiogenesis, the development and growth of blood vessels, is a major topic of research which began in 1971 with Folkman's original hypothesis. Different mechanisms of blood vessel growth are sprouting and intussusceptive angiogenesis, vascular mimicry, and blood vessel cooption. Dis-regulated angiogenesis may result in numerous angiogenic diseases and is responsible for solid tumor growth and metastasis. Vascular endothelial cells are generally dormant in adult but in pathological conditions when tumors reach a size of about 0.2-2.0 mm in diameter, they become hypoxic and hindered in tumor growth in the lack of angiogenesis. During angiogenic switch pro-angiogenic factors predominate and result in angiogenesis and tumor progression. Angiogenesis switch leads to the increased production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) following up-regulation of the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor. The VEGF family comprises from VEGF (VEGF-A), VEGF-B, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, and placental growth factor (PlGF). The VEGF family of receptors consists of three protein-tyrosine kinases. Now, the most conventional approach for controlling tumor angiogenesis is blockade of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway. The results of preclinical studies, substantial therapeutic effects of VEGF blockers have been stated in various types of human cancers, even in progressive or recurrent cancer cases.

Sanmartín E, Sirera R, Usó M, et al.
A gene signature combining the tissue expression of three angiogenic factors is a prognostic marker in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2014; 21(2):612-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis are key mechanisms for tumor growth and dissemination. They are mainly regulated by the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family of ligands and receptors. The aim of this study was to analyze relative expression levels of angiogenic markers in resectable non-small cell lung cancer patients in order to asses a prognostic signature that could improve characterization of patients with worse clinical outcomes.
METHODS: RNA was obtained from tumor and normal lung specimens from 175 patients. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed to analyze the relative expression of HIF1A, PlGF, VEGFA, VEGFA165b, VEGFB, VEGFC, VEGFD, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, VEGFR3, NRP1 and NRP2.
RESULTS: Univariate analysis showed that tumor size and ECOG-PS are prognostic factors for time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS). This analysis in the case of angiogenic factors also revealed that PlGF, VEGFA, VEGFB and VEGFD distinguish patients with different outcomes. Taking into account the complex interplay between the different ligands of the VEGF family and to more precisely predict the outcome of the patients, we considered a new analysis combining several VEGF ligands. In order to find independent prognostic variables, we performed a multivariate Cox analysis, which showed that the subgroup of patients with higher relative expression of VEGFA plus lower VEGFB and VEGFD presented the poorest outcome for both TTP and OS.
CONCLUSIONS: The relative expression of these three genes can be considered as an angiogenic gene signature whose applicability for the selection of candidates for targeted therapies needs to be further validated.

Dai W, Zeller C, Masrour N, et al.
Promoter CpG island methylation of genes in key cancer pathways associates with clinical outcome in high-grade serous ovarian cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(20):5788-5797 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
PURPOSE: We aimed to identify DNA methylation biomarkers of progression-free survival (PFS) to platinum-based chemotherapy in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) within biologically relevant ovarian cancer-associated pathways.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Association with PFS of CpG island (CGI) promoter DNA methylation at genes in the pathways Akt/mTOR, p53, redox, and homologous recombination DNA repair was sought with PFS as the primary objective in a prospectively collected ovarian cancer cohort (n = 150). Significant loci were validated for associations between PFS, methylation, and gene expression in an independent The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data set of HGSOC (n = 311).
RESULTS: DNA methylation at 29 CGI loci linked to 28 genes was significantly associated with PFS, independent from conventional clinical prognostic factors (adjusted P < 0.05). Of 17 out of the 28 genes represented in the TCGA data set, methylation of VEGFB, VEGFA, HDAC11, FANCA, E2F1, GPX4, PRDX2, RAD54L, and RECQL4 was prognostic in this independent patient cohort (one-sided P < 0.05, false discovery rate < 10%). A multivariate Cox model was constructed, with clinical parameters (age, stage, grade, and histologic type) and significant loci. The final model included NKD1, VEGFB, and PRDX2 as the three best predictors of PFS (P = 6.62 × 10(-6), permutation test P < 0.05). Focussing only on known VEGFs in the TCGA cohort showed that methylation at promoters of VEGFA, VEGFB, and VEGFC was significantly associated with PFS.
CONCLUSIONS: A three loci model of DNA methylation could identify two distinct prognostic groups of patients with ovarian cancer (PFS: HR = 2.29, P = 3.34 × 10(-5); overall survival: HR = 1.87, P = 0.007) and patients more likely to have poor response to chemotherapy (OR = 3.45, P = 0.012).

Lautenschlaeger T, George A, Klimowicz AC, et al.
Bladder preservation therapy for muscle-invading bladder cancers on Radiation Therapy Oncology Group trials 8802, 8903, 9506, and 9706: vascular endothelial growth factor B overexpression predicts for increased distant metastasis and shorter survival.
Oncologist. 2013; 18(6):685-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: From 1988 to 1999, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) conducted four prospective studies (8802, 8903, 9506, 9706) of patients with clinical stage T2-4a muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Treatment was selective bladder preservation using transurethral surgery (TURBT) plus cisplatin-based induction and consolidation chemoradiation regimens, reserving radical cystectomy for invasive tumor recurrence. We investigated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway biomarkers in this unique clinical dataset (median follow-up of 3.1 years).
METHODS: A total of 43 patients with tissue available from the entry TURBT were included in this analysis. Expression of VEGF ligands and receptors were quantified and scored by the AQUA platform (HistoRX, now Genoptix, Carlsbad, CA) and analyzed after median split.
RESULTS: VEGF expression levels were not associated with increased rates of complete response to induction chemoradiation. Higher levels of cytoplasmic VEGF-B, VEGF-C, and VEGF-R2 were associated with decreased overall survival rates. The 3-year overall survival estimates for high and low expressers were 43.7% and 75% for VEGF-B cytoplasm (p = .01), 40.2% and 86.7% for VEGF-C cytoplasm (p = .01), and 49.7% and 66.7% for VEGF-R2 cytoplasm (p = .02). Higher expression levels of cytoplasm VEGF-B were associated with higher rates of distant failure (p = .01).
CONCLUSIONS: Although VEGF ligands and receptors do not appear to be associated with complete response to induction chemoradiation for muscle-invasive bladder cancer, we report significant associations with overall survival and distant failure for certain VEGF family members.

Vecchione A, Belletti B, Lovat F, et al.
A microRNA signature defines chemoresistance in ovarian cancer through modulation of angiogenesis.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(24):9845-50 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy; it is highly aggressive and causes almost 125,000 deaths yearly. Despite advances in detection and cytotoxic therapies, a low percentage of patients with advanced stage disease survive 5 y after the initial diagnosis. The high mortality of this disease is mainly caused by resistance to the available therapies. Here, we profiled microRNA (miR) expression in serous epithelial ovarian carcinomas to assess the possibility of a miR signature associated with chemoresistance. We analyzed tumor samples from 198 patients (86 patients as a training set and 112 patients as a validation set) for human miRs. A signature of 23 miRs associated with chemoresistance was generated by array analysis in the training set. Quantitative RT-PCR in the validation set confirmed that three miRs (miR-484, -642, and -217) were able to predict chemoresistance of these tumors. Additional analysis of miR-484 revealed that the sensitive phenotype is caused by a modulation of tumor vasculature through the regulation of the VEGFB and VEGFR2 pathways. We present compelling evidence that three miRs can classify the response to chemotherapy of ovarian cancer patients in a large multicenter cohort and that one of these three miRs is involved in the control of tumor angiogenesis, indicating an option in the treatment of these patients. Our results suggest, in fact, that blockage of VEGF through the use of an anti-VEGFA antibody may not be sufficient to improve survival in ovarian cancer patients unless VEGFB signaling is also blocked.

Gylfe AE, Kondelin J, Turunen M, et al.
Identification of candidate oncogenes in human colorectal cancers with microsatellite instability.
Gastroenterology. 2013; 145(3):540-3.e22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Microsatellite instability can be found in approximately 15% of all colorectal cancers. To detect new oncogenes we sequenced the exomes of 25 colorectal tumors and respective healthy colon tissue. Potential mutation hot spots were confirmed in 15 genes; ADAR, DCAF12L2, GLT1D1, ITGA7, MAP1B, MRGPRX4, PSRC1, RANBP2, RPS6KL1, SNCAIP, TCEAL6, TUBB6, WBP5, VEGFB, and ZBTB2; these were validated in 86 tumors with microsatellite instability. ZBTB2, RANBP2, and PSRC1 also were found to contain hot spot mutations in the validation set. The form of ZBTB2 associated with colorectal cancer increased cell proliferation. The mutation hot spots might be used to develop personalized tumor profiling and therapy.

Pringels S, Van Damme N, De Craene B, et al.
Clinical procedure for colon carcinoma tissue sampling directly affects the cancer marker-capacity of VEGF family members.
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:515 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: mRNA levels of members of the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor family (VEGF-A, -B, -C, -D, Placental Growth Factor/PlGF) have been investigated as tissue-based markers of colon cancer. These studies, which used specimens obtained by surgical resection or colonoscopic biopsy, yielded contradictory results. We studied the effect of the sampling method on the marker accuracy of VEGF family members.
METHODS: Comparative RT-qPCR analysis was performed on healthy colon and colon carcinoma samples obtained by biopsy (n = 38) or resection (n = 39) to measure mRNA expression levels of individual VEGF family members. mRNA levels of genes encoding the eicosanoid enzymes cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) and of genes encoding the hypoxia markers glucose transporter 1 (GLUT-1) and carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) were included as markers for cellular stress and hypoxia.
RESULTS: Expression levels of COX2, 5-LOX, GLUT-1 and CAIX revealed the occurrence in healthy colon resection samples of hypoxic cellular stress and a concurrent increment of basal expression levels of VEGF family members. This increment abolished differential expression of VEGF-B and VEGF-C in matched carcinoma resection samples and created a surgery-induced underexpression of VEGF-D. VEGF-A and PlGF showed strong overexpression in carcinoma samples regardless of the sampling method.
CONCLUSIONS: Sampling-induced hypoxia in resection samples but not in biopsy samples affects the marker-reliability of VEGF family members. Therefore, biopsy samples provide a more accurate report on VEGF family mRNA levels. Furthermore, this limited expression analysis proposes VEGF-A and PlGF as reliable, sampling procedure insensitive mRNA-markers for molecular diagnosis of colon cancer.

Linardou H, Kalogeras KT, Kronenwett R, et al.
The prognostic and predictive value of mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor family members in breast cancer: a study in primary tumors of high-risk early breast cancer patients participating in a randomized Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group trial.
Breast Cancer Res. 2012; 14(6):R145 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The main prognostic variables in early breast cancer are tumor size, histological grade, estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor (ER/PgR) status, number of positive nodes and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status. The present study evaluated the prognostic and/or predictive value of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family members in high-risk early breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant chemo-hormonotherapy.
METHODS: RNA was isolated from 308 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary tumor samples from breast cancer patients enrolled in the HE10/97 trial, evaluating adjuvant dose-dense sequential chemotherapy with epirubicin followed by cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, fluorouracil (CMF) with or without paclitaxel (E-T-CMF versus E-CMF). A fully automated method based on magnetic beads was applied for RNA extraction, followed by one-step quantitative RT-PCR for mRNA analysis of VEGF-A, -B, -C and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) 1, 2, 3.
RESULTS: With a median follow-up of 8 years, 109 patients (35%) developed a relapse and 80 patients (26%) died. In high VEGF-C and VEGFR1 mRNA expressing tumors, ER/PgR-negative tumors (Fisher's exact test, P = 0.001 and P = 0.021, respectively) and HER2-positive tumors (P <0.001 and P = 0.028, respectively) were more frequent than in low VEGF-C and VEGFR1 expressing tumors, respectively. From the VEGF family members evaluated, high VEGFR1 mRNA expression (above the 75th percentile) emerged as a significant negative prognostic factor for overall survival (OS; hazard ratio (HR) = 1.60, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01 to 2.55, Wald's P = 0.047) and disease-free survival (DFS; HR = 1.67, 95% CI: 1.13 to 2.48, P = 0.010), when adjusting for treatment group. High VEGF-C mRNA expression was predictive for benefit from adjuvant treatment with paclitaxel (E-T-CMF arm) for OS (test for interaction, Wald's P = 0.038), while in multivariate analysis the interaction of VEGF-C with taxane treatment was significant for both OS (Wald's P = 0.019) and DFS (P = 0.041) and continuous VEGF-B mRNA expression values for OS (P = 0.019).
CONCLUSIONS: The present study reports, for the first time, that VEGF-C mRNA overexpression, as assessed by qRT-PCR, has a strong predictive value in high-risk early breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant paclitaxel-containing treatment. Further studies are warranted to validate the prognostic and/or predictive value of VEGF-B, VEGF-C and VEGFR1 in patients treated with adjuvant therapies and to reveal which members of the VEGF family could possibly be useful markers in identifying patients who will benefit most from anti-VEGF strategies.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) ACTRN12611000506998.

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