Angiogenesis Related Markers In Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: This thesis investigated the predictive and the prognostic powers of angiogenesis related markers in both operable and inoperable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.In the first and second study, we investigated the serological fractions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in 2 cohorts of patients with either operable or inoperable NSCLC. Regarding operable NSCLC, we demonstrated significant correlations between VEGF and tumour volume and overall survival. Regarding bFGF, significant correlations with recurrent disease and survival were demonstrated. VEGF and bFGF correlated to each other and with platelet counts. In multivariate analysis, bFGF proved to be a significantly independent prognostic factor.Regarding inoperable NSCLC, we demonstrated that patients with elevated bFGF levels before any treatment and during chemotherapy had a significantly poorer survival. During chemotherapy, each rise of one unit of bFGF (ng/L) corresponded to a 4 times increased risk of death. Regarding VEGF, elevated levels after radiotherapy corresponded with better survival. All prognostic information demonstrated in this study concerned patients with a, co-sampled, normal platelet count.In the third study, three putative markers, HER-2, EGFR and COX-2, suitable for targeted therapies in resected NSCLC were investigated in a panel of 53 tumours and further investigated for a possible correlation with microvessel density. We demonstrated that HER-2 and COX-2 were mainly expressed in adenocarcinomas, whereas EGFR was only expressed in squamous cell carcinomas. COX-2 showed a trend towards a correlation with microvesssel density. The expression profile, HER-2+/EGFR-, was significantly correlated to poorer survival. In the fourth study, a predictive model for recurrences consisting of p53, CD34 and CD105, and circulating serum fractions of VEGF and bFGF, was investigated. The two endothelial markers correlated with each other. CD105 expression correlated with p53 expression. No other significant correlations between markers could be demonstrated. A significant correlation between p53 overexpression and recurrent disease was demonstrated. The mutational status could not confirm the immunohistochemical correlation between p53 and recurrences. In conclusion, the present thesis demonstrates that the angiogenic factors VEGF and bFGF analysed in sera have both predictive and prognostic information when measured in operable and inoperable NSCLC. Since HER-2 is overexpressed in NSCLC and linked with prognostic information, this marker might be a suitable target for therapy in NSCLC. Furthermore, in patients with operable NSCLC, p53 expression status was linked with recurrent disease and mean MVD.