Vascular endothelial growth factor serum levels in children with newly diagnosed rhabdomyosarcoma

Amalia Schiavetti, Heather P. Mcdowell, Laura Conti, Pierluigi Altavista, Anna Antenucci, Barry Pizer, Carlo Dominici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The adverse prognostic impact of elevated levels of circulating Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) is described in several malignancies. However, no information is available in childhood rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). In the present study, serum VEGF-A (sVEGF-A) was measured at diagnosis in a series of patients with RMS. Procedure: sVEGF-A was assessed retrospectively in 17 newly diagnosed RMS patients. sVEGF-A concentrations were determined by quantitative enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent ELISA kit and their possible associations with age at diagnosis, gender, histology, primary site, primary size, Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study (IRS) post-surgical group, and outcome were investigated. Results: sVEGF-A median value in patients with RMS was significantly higher than in controls: 499.0pg/ml, range: 2,648.0 versus 301.5pg/ml, range: 716.0 (P=0.013). Although not statistically significant probably due to the limited number of patients, sVEGF-A median levels resulted higher in unfavorable primary sites (277.0 vs. 539.0pg/ml; P=0.31), and advanced groups (390.0 vs. 715.0; P=0.29). Patients with shorter 5-year overall survival (OS) and 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) times also had higher sVEGF-A levels, although again the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.18 and P=0.22, respectively). Conclusions: Circulating VEGF is significantly increased in pediatric patients with newly diagnosed RMS. Further studies in larger series of RMS patients are needed to understand whether measurements of circulating VEGF might have a role in assessing prognosis and modulating treatment. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2012;59:627-630.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-630
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Angiogenesis
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology


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