Journal of Molecular Histology

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 429–435 | Cite as

VEGFA and VEGFR2 RNAscope determination in gastric cancer

  • Roberto Tamma
  • Tiziana Annese
  • Simona Ruggieri
  • Andrea Marzullo
  • Beatrice Nico
  • Domenico RibattiEmail author
Short Communication


Gastric cancer is the fifth most common cancer and third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Several studies on angiogenic blocking agents in gastric cancer revealing promising results by the use of monoclonal antibodies against VEGFA or its receptor VEGFR2 or against VEGFA activating pathway. The validation of biomarkers useful to better organize the clinical trials involving anti-angiogenic therapies is crucial. Molecular markers such as RNA are increasingly used for cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy guidance as in the case of the targeted therapies concerning the inhibition of angiogenesis. The aim of this study is to set the conditions for evaluating the expression of VEGFA and VEGFR2 in gastric cancer specimens and in healthy gastric mucosa by the use of RNAscope, a novel RNA in situ hybridization (ISH) method that allows the visualization of a specific gene expression in individual cells. We found the increased expression of VEGFA in the tubular glands and VEGFR2 in the endothelium of gastric cancer samples mainly in the T2, T3 and T4 stages of tumor progression as compared to the healthy controls. These results obtained by the application of this highly sensitive method for oligonucleotide detection the role of angiogenesis in gastric cancer progression already highlighted by conventional immunohistochemical methods, and offer significant promise as a new platform for developing and implementing RNA-based molecular diagnostics also in the conditions in which immunohistochemistry is not applicable.


Gastric cancer Immunohistochemistry RNAscope VEGFA VEGFR2 



This work was supported by Grant from Associazione “Il Sorriso di Antonio” (Corato, Italy) to D.R. The Authors thanks Mrs. M. De Giorgis for her skillful technical assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have seen and approved the manuscript being submitted and have no conflict of interest to declare.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sensory OrgansUniversity of Bari Medical SchoolBariItaly
  2. 2.Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Section of Pathological AnatomyUniversity of Bari Aldo MoroBariItaly

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