Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 1523–1529 | Cite as

Prognostic significance of VEGF-C immunohistochemical expression in breast cancer: a meta-analysis

  • Sheng Gao
  • Jing-Jing Ma
  • Cheng Lu
Research Article


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.


Vascular 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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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Breast SurgeryNanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina

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