Circulating Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor

Methods, Prognostic Significance, and Potential Application for Antiangiogenic Therapy
  • Roberta Sarmiento
  • Roberta Franceschini
  • Sabrina Meo
  • Massimo Gion
  • Raffele Longo
  • Giampietro Gasparini
Part of the Cancer Drug Discovery and Development book series (CDD&D)


Despite significant advances in early detection and treatment, breast cancer still remains the major cause of cancer-related death in women. Many studies suggest a relationship between angiogenesis and breast cancer prognosis. Angiogenesis is the complex process leading to the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vascular network. The VEGF is the most active growth factor involved in angiogenesis; more specifically, raised intratumoral VEGF concentrations have been shown to correlate with tumor aggressiveness. VEGF is therefore a promising target for new therapies, but it is still unclear in which blood matrix the determination of VEGF is more accurate as a cancer biomarker and which matrix provides the optimal clinical information. Circulating levels of VEGF have been measured by several investigators who reported conflicting results. However, these studies are not comparable with each other due to a lack of standardization of the pre-analytical phase. The chapter presents the main studies concerning anti-VEGF therapies; several studies evaluated the safety profile and activity of the combination of standard chemotherapy with new antiangiogenic agents. However, to date only a few definitive results on the effect of angiogenesis blood markers have been reported. Determination of circulating VEGF still remains an experimental procedure with no evident application for routine clinical decisions. Data from retrospective studies, however, suggest that VEGF levels may predict clinical outcome of breast cancer.

Key Words

Vascular endothelial growth factor breast cancer angiogenesis therapy prognosis 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberta Sarmiento
    • 1
  • Roberta Franceschini
    • 2
  • Sabrina Meo
    • 2
  • Massimo Gion
    • 3
  • Raffele Longo
    • 1
  • Giampietro Gasparini
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Medical OncologySan Filippo Neri HospitalRomeItaly
  2. 2.ABO Association c/o Centre for the Study of Biological Markers of MalignancyUnit of Laboratory Medicine, Regional General HospitalVeniceItaly
  3. 3.Centre for the Study of Biological Markers of Malignancy, Unit of Laboratory MedicineRegional General HospitalVeniceItaly

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