Background: To investigate the expression of CD44v3 and vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) and their relationship with lymph node metastasis in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the uterine cervix. Materials and
Methods: Expression of CD44v3 and VEGF-C was analyzed in 109 cases of cervical SCC by immunohistochemistry (IHC). The relationship was analyzed between expression and the patient age, histological differentiation, formation of tumor emboli in lymphoid vessels, lymph node metastasis, FIGO staging, and TNMclassification.
Results: Expression rates for both CD44v3 and VEGF-C were 43.1% in cervical SCC. The cells with positive immunohistochemical staining of CD44v3 were distributed mainly around the keratin pearls in well differentiated carcinomas, but distributed diffusely in the moderately and poorly differentiated lesions. VEGF-C was found stained positively in most of the tumor cells. There were differences in expression between normal epithelium and atypical hyperplasia as well as carcinoma. Both CD44v3 and VEGF-C were found to beassociated positively with lymph node metastasis and TNM classification (both p=0.000). Neither CD44v3 nor VEGF-C was found to be associated with patient age, histological differentiation, formation of tumor emboli in lymphoid vessels and FIGO staging. CD44v3 was found to be associated with VEGF-C positively (p=0.000).
Conclusions: Abnormal expression of CD44v3 and VEGF-C is associated closely with the lymph node metastasis in cervical SCC, and these agents may cooperate in carcinogenesis and development of metastatic lesions.