Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 193–204 | Cite as

Tumor angiogenesis in breast cancer: Its importance as a prognostic indicator and the association with vascular endothelial growth factor expression

  • Masakazu Toi
  • Kazuo Inada
  • Hideo Suzuki
  • Takeshi Tominaga


The importance of tumor angiogenesis in the process of tumor growth and progression in solid tumors has been widely accepted. We have investigated the significance of tumor angiogenesis as a prognostic indicator in a retrospective study including 328 primary breast cancer patients. The postoperative survey demonstrated that the microvessel density (MVD) evaluated by immunocytochemical staining for factor VIII-related antigen is a potent prognostic indicator. The relapse-free survival (RFS) rate of patients with over 100 microvessels/mm2 in a microscopic field was significantly worse compared to that of patients with less than 100 microvessels/mm2 (p<0.00001). The significance of MVD was found in both node-negative and node-positve patients (p< 0.005 and p<0.01, respectively). Multivariate analysis confirmed that MVD is an independent prognostic indicator for RFS. In the background factor analysis, MVD was significantly correlated with the number of metastatic nodes (p<0.01). In addition, the immunocytochemical analysis for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) demonstrated a close association between the increase in MVD and the expression of VEGF (p<0.001). VEGF status also was a significant prognostic indicator in univariate analysis for RFS (p<0.01). It was concluded that MVD is a potent prognostic indicator in primary breast cancer. Furthermore, it was also suggested that VEGF plays crucial roles in the promotion of angiogenesis in breast cancer.

Key words

angiogenesis microvessel density vascular endothelial growth factor breast cancer 



microvessel density


vascular endothelial growth factor


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masakazu Toi
    • 1
  • Kazuo Inada
    • 1
  • Hideo Suzuki
    • 2
  • Takeshi Tominaga
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of SurgeryTokyo Metropolitan Komagome HospitalTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Tsukuba Res. Lab.Toagosei Co, Ltd.IbarakiJapan

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