Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 12, pp 9285–9293 | Cite as

Correlation between serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor-C and sentinel lymph node status in early breast cancer

  • Diego Pérez
  • Alexander Rohde
  • Gonzalo Callejón
  • Elisabeth Pérez-Ruiz
  • Isabel Rodrigo
  • Francisco Rivas-Ruiz
  • Belen Ramos
  • Francisco Medina
  • Rosa Villatoro
  • Maximino Redondo
  • Irene Zarcos
  • Claudio Maañón
  • Antonio Rueda
Research Article


Axillary lymph nodes status is the most important prognosis factor in early breast cancer. This status is known by a selective sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) and/or lymphadenectomy. Immunohistochemical studies of breast cancer tumour tissue have reported a relation between the increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) and the risk of lymph node metastasis. We researched whether serum levels of VEGF-C could be a predictor factor of sentinel lymph node status in these patients. A prospective analysis was performed on serum from 174 patients with early breast cancer who underwent SLNB. The level of VEGF-C was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Clinical-pathologic variables were collected. Univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression were conducted, taking SLNB positivity as the segmentation variable. The predictive value of VEGF-C was assessed using ROC curves. Of the sample group of 167 patients, 64 (38.3 %) had affected lymph node. Eighteen patients (28.1 %) presented micrometastasis; there were isolated tumour cells in 11 cases (17.2 %) and macrometastasis in 35 (54.6 %). The median value of VEGF-C was 6561.5 pg/ml. These values did not correlate with any clinical variables, and there was no association between the level of VEGF-C and SLNB status (p = 0.626). In the multivariate analysis, tumour size (p = 0.009) and the presence of vascular invasion (p < 0.001) were independently associated with sentinel lymph node affected. Serum levels of VEGF-C do not appear to predict sentinel lymph node status in patients with early breast cancer who undergo SLNB.


Breast cancer Serum VEGF-C Lymphangiogenesis Predicting factor 



We thank all the patients and family for their help to do this work.

Ethical standards

This study was approved by the hospital ethics committee and was conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki (Seoul, 2008). All patients gave their written informed consent to participate in the study. Project data were collected anonymously, following Spanish data protection legislation (Act 15/1999 of 15 December).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego Pérez
    • 1
  • Alexander Rohde
    • 2
  • Gonzalo Callejón
    • 3
  • Elisabeth Pérez-Ruiz
    • 1
  • Isabel Rodrigo
    • 4
  • Francisco Rivas-Ruiz
    • 5
  • Belen Ramos
    • 6
  • Francisco Medina
    • 7
  • Rosa Villatoro
    • 1
  • Maximino Redondo
    • 3
  • Irene Zarcos
    • 1
  • Claudio Maañón
    • 2
  • Antonio Rueda
    • 1
  1. 1.Oncology DepartmentHospital Costa del SolMarbellaSpain
  2. 2.Obstetrics-Gynecology DepartmentHospital Costa del SolMarbellaSpain
  3. 3.Molecular Biology LaboratoryHospital Costa del SolMarbellaSpain
  4. 4.Pathological Anatomy DepartmentHospital Costa del SolMarbellaSpain
  5. 5.Department for Support Research: Statistical AnalysisHospital Costa del SolMarbellaSpain
  6. 6.Radiology DepartmentHospital Costa del SolMarbellaSpain
  7. 7.Surgery DepartmentHospital Costa del SolMarbellaSpain

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