Background: To explore vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) and VEGF-D expression andits correlation with lymph node metastasis in esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC) tissue. Materials and
Methods: Immunohistochemical methods were applied to detect the levels of VEGF-C and VEGF-D expressionin 64 surgicall removal ESCC tissues, tissues adjacent to cancer and normal tissues, and the relationship betweenVEGF-C and VEGF-D expression and lymph node metastasis was analyzed.
Results: Both VEGF-C and VEGF-Dwere expressed by varying degrees in esophageal cancer tissue, the tissue adjacent to cancer and normal tissue,and the positive expression rate went down successively. The positive expression rates of VEGF-C (59.4%) andVEGF-D (43.8%) in esophageal cancer tissue were significantly higher than in the tissue adjacent to cancer(34.4%, 15.6%) and normal tissue (20.3%, 12.5%), respectively, in which significant differences were manifested(p<0.01). Positive expression rates of VEGF-C and VEGF-D in esophageal cancers with lymph node metastasiswere markedly higher than without such metastasis (p<0.01), while those in the tissue with TNM staging I~IIwere markedly lower than that with TNM staging III~IV (p<0.01).
Conclusions: Both VEGF-C and VEGF-Dare highly expressed in ESCC tissue, which may be related to the lymph node metastasis of cancer cells. Hence,VEGF-C and VEGF-D can be clinically considered as important reference indexes of lymph node metastasis inesophageal cancer.