Different angiogenic pathways characterize superficial and invasive bladder cancer.
O'Brien T., Cranston D., Fuggle S., Bicknell R., Harris AL.
We have investigated by RNase protection analysis the expression of 2 angiogenic factors in 45 primary bladder tumors and 8 normal bladders. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was 3-fold higher and that of platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor was 40-fold higher in tumors compared to normal bladder. However, the factors were differentially expressed in different stages of the cancer. Expression of VEGF in superficial tumors was 4-fold higher than in invasive tumors and 10-fold higher than in normal bladder (superficial versus invasive, P < 0.0006; superficial versus normal, P < 0.0002). Expression of platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor in invasive tumors was 33-fold higher than in superficial tumors and 260-fold higher than in normal bladder (invasive versus superficial, P < 0.0001; invasive versus normal, P < 0.0003). In well differentiated or moderately differentiated superficial tumors which had invaded the lamina propria (pT1G1/2) VEGF expression was 4-fold higher in tumors which subsequently recurred at 3 months compared to those which did not recur (P < 0.002). Thus there are two distinct angiogenic pathways involved in different stages of bladder cancer, which is in keeping with the evidence for two different genetic pathways. Elevated VEGF expression predicts early recurrence of pT1G1/2 tumors.