Platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor expression and angiogenesis in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix.
Dobbs SP., Brown LJ., Ireland D., Abrams KR., Murray JC., Gatter K., Harris A., Steward WP., O'Byrne KJ.
Growth and metastatic spread of invasive carcinoma depends on angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels. Platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor (PD-ECGF) is an angiogenic growth factor for a number of solid tumors, including lung, bladder, colorectal, and renal cell cancer. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) is the precursor to squamous cell cervical carcinoma (SCC). Mean vessel density (MVD) increases from normal cervical tissue, through low- and high-grade CIN to SCC. We evaluated PD-ECGF immunoreactivity and correlated its expression with MVD in normal, premalignant, and malignant cervical tissue. PD-ECGF expression was assessed visually within the epithelial tissues and scored on the extent and intensity of staining. MVD was calculated by counting the number of vessels positive for von Willebrand factor per unit area subtending normal or CIN epithelium or within tumor hotspots for SCC. Cytoplasmic and/or nuclear PD-ECGF immunoreactivity was seen in normal epithelium. PD-ECGF expression significantly increased with histologic grade from normal, through low- and high-grade CIN, to SCC (P < .02). A progressive significant increase in the microvessel density was also seen, ranging from a mean of 28 vessels for normal tissue to 57 for SCC (P < .0005). No correlation was found between PD-ECGF expression and MVD (P = .45). We conclude that PD-ECGF expression and MVD increase as the cervix transforms from a normal to a malignant phenotype. PD-ECGF is thymidine phosphorylase, a key enzyme in the activation of fluoropyrimidines, including 5-fluorouracil. Evaluation of PD-ECGF thymidine phosphorylase expression may be important in designing future chemotherapeutic trials in cervical cancer.