Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent mitogen for vascular endothelial cells. It has been associated with angiogenesis, growth, dissemination, metastasis, and poor outcome in solid tumors. To assess cellular VEGF levels and their prognostic significance in newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML), we used a radioimmunoassay (RIA) to quantify VEGF levels in stored samples obtained before treatment from 99 patients with newly diagnosed AML treated at the MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1996 to 1998. Outcome in the 99 patients was representative of that observed in all patients seen at this institution with this diagnosis during these years, but the 99 patients had higher white blood cell (WBC) and blast counts than the other patients. Results of the RIA were confirmed by Western blot. There was a relationship between increasing VEGF levels and shorter survival (P = .01), as well as shorter disease-free survival, both from start of treatment and from complete response (CR) date. In contrast, there was no relationship between VEGF level and WBC or blast count, or between VEGF level and such established prognostic factors as age, cytogenetics, performance status, or presence of an antecedent hematologic disorder, and multivariate analysis indicated that VEGF was still prognostic for the above outcomes after accounting for these factors, as well as treatment. Our results suggest that at least in AML patients with higher WBC and blast counts, cellular VEGF level is an independent predictor of outcome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology