Prognostic value of serum VEGF in melanoma patients: A pilot study

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Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is involved in angiogenesis. We investigated the association of VEGF serum levels (pre-treatment and follow-up) with outcome in patients with melanoma. Patients and Methods: Serum levels of VEGF in melanoma patients at diagnosis and during follow-up were analysed with enzyme-linked immunoassays. Patients were followed up with physical examination and ultrasound scans of the liver every three months and thorax X-ray annually. The VEGF serum level was evaluated six-monthly. Results: From February 1996 to February 2000, 33 patients were enrolled. Ninety-two serum blood samples were collected. Patients had a median age of 60 years (range 32-82). Twenty patients were males, 13 females. One patient presented with stage IA disease, 2 with stage IB, 11 with stage IIA, 4 with stage IIB, 8 with stage III and 5 with stage IV. Two patients were affected by uveal melanoma. The melanomas were predominantly located at the extremities or trunk (26/33). The median serum level of VEGF at diagnosis was 249 ng/ml (minimum: 9 ng/ml, maximum: 1215 ng/ml). The median survival of all 33 patients was 45.1 months. The median time-to-progression was 36.7 months. Patients with lower or higher serum VEGF values showed no statistically significant differences in survival. In contrast, high serum VEGF values were associated with shorter disease-free survival as compared with lower values (median DFS: 25 vs 60 months, p=0.048 at log-rank test). Conclusion: Our results suggest that serum VEGF could be of prognostic value in melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4255-4258
Number of pages4
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


  • Melanoma
  • Prognosis
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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