Prognostic significance of VEGF-C immunohistochemical expression in breast cancer: a meta-analysis
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Vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) is considered as a prime mediator of lymphangiogenesis and has been implicated in carcinogenesis and metastasis. Various studies examined the relationship between VEGF-C protein overexpression with the clinical outcome in patients with breast cancer but yielded conflicting results. Electronic databases updated to April 2013 were searched to find relevant studies. A meta-analysis was conducted with eligible studies which quantitatively evaluated the relationship between VEGF-C overexpression and survival of patients with breast cancer. Survival data were aggregated and quantitatively analyzed. We performed a meta-analysis of 11 studies (n = 1,357 patients) that evaluated the correlation between VEGF-C overexpression detected by immunohistochemistry and survival in patients with breast cancer. Combined hazard ratios suggested that VEGF-C overexpression was not associated with poor prognosis of disease-free survival (HR [hazard ratio] = 0.80, 95 % CI [confidence interval]: 0.51–1.09), overall survival (OS) (HR = 1.08, 95 % CI: 0.37–1.78) in patients with breast cancer. In the stratified analysis by patient source, significantly risks were not found among Asians or non-Asians. No significant heterogeneity was observed among all studies. VEGF-C overexpression was not associated with poor disease-free survival or overall survival in breast cancer.
KeywordsVascular endothelial growth factor-C Breast cancer Prognosis Meta-analysis
This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81172501).
Conflicts of interest
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