Quantity and clinical relevance of circulating endothelial progenitor cellsin human ovarian cancer
Circulating bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been reported to participate in tumor angiogenesis and growth; however, the role of circulating EPCs in tumor progression is controversial. The role of circulating EPCs in ovarian cancer progression and angiogenesis has not yet been investigated.
Methods: The number of circulating EPCs in the peripheral blood in 25 healthy volunteers and 42 patients with ovarian cancer was determined by flow cytometry.
EPCs were defined by co-expression of CD34 and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2). In addition, we determined CD34 and VEGFR2 mRNA levels by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.
Plasma levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: Circulating levels of EPCs were significantly increased in ovarian cancer patients, correlating with tumor stage and residual tumor size. Higher levels of EPCs were detected in patients with stage III and IV ovarian cancer than in patients with stage I and II disease.
After excision of the tumor, EPC levels rapidly declined. Residual tumor size greater than 2 cm was associated with significantly higher levels of EPCs.
In addition, high circulating EPCs correlated with poor overall survival. Pretreatment CD34 mRNA levels were not significantly increased in ovarian cancer patients compared with healthy controls; however, VEGFR2 expression was increased, and plasma levels of VEGF and MMP-9 were also elevated.
Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the clinical relevance of circulating EPCs in ovarian cancer.
EPCs may be a potential biomarker to monitor ovarian cancer progression and angiogenesis and treatment response.
Author: Yajuan SuLei ZhengQian WangWeiqi LiZhen CaiShilong XiongJie Bao Credits/Source: Journal of Experimental &Clinical Cancer Research 2010, 29:27
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