Prognostic value of carcinoembryonic antigen and vascular endothelial growth factor tumor tissue content in colorectal cancer

Patrizia Ferroni, Raffaele Palmirotta, Antonella Spila, Francesca Martini, Vincenzo Formica, Ilaria Portarena, Girolamo Del Monte, Oreste Buonomo, Mario Roselli, Fiorella Guadagni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: This study was designed to assess the prognostic significance of the combined measurement of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) tissue content with respect to relapse-free and overall survival of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). Methods: Quantitative evaluation of VEGF and CEA content was performed on protein extracts obtained from tissue biopsies from 69 CRC patients and 15 healthy donors. Results: VEGF significantly correlated with CEA content of either tumor tissues (rho = 0.55, p <0.0001) or corresponding normal mucosa (rho = 0.34, p <0.005). General regression analyses demonstrated that CEA was an independent predictor of VEGF tissue content either in CRC biopsies (regression coefficient = 0.57, p <0.0001) or normal mucosa (regression coefficient = 0.25, p <0.05). Cox proportional hazards survival analysis showed that tumor tissue content of both VEGF and CEA had an independent prognostic value in predicting both relapse-free (hazards ratio = 5.98, p = 0.002) and overall (hazards ratio = 4.73, p = 0.007) survival, irrespective of Dukes' stage. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that an elevated tumor content of both CEA and VEGF had a negative prognostic value in respect to either relapse-free (log-rank test: 10.4, p = 0.001) or overall survival (log-rank test: 7.33, p = 0.007). Conclusion: Tumor tissue VEGF and CEA content determination might add useful prognostic information in the management of patients with CRC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-184
Number of pages9
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Carcinoembryonic antigen
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Overall survival
  • Relapse-free survival
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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