Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) expression in mycosis fungoides

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High levels of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) seem to herald a worse prognosis in mycosis fungoides (MF). In this study, we aimed to characterize more clearly VEGFA gene and protein expression in MF.

Methods and results:

First, we compared VEGFA mRNA levels in MF and in normal T lymphocyte samples; significantly higher VEGFA levels were found in MF. We then studied VEGFA expression in different normal T cell subsets, focusing on CD4+, CD8+, resting and activated T lymphocytes. We applied the gene signatures of the normal T cell subsets to MF samples and found that activated T lymphocytes represented the closest normal counterpart of the tumour. However, VEGFA mRNA levels were significantly higher in MF than in activated normal T cells, suggesting that VEGFA overexpression in MF represents an attribute acquired during neoplastic transformation: no significant VEGFA expression differences were recorded between early and advanced stages. Gene expression profile results were supported by immunohistochemistry in routine sections from 27 MF cases.


For the first time, we demonstrate VEGFA expression in MF cells, suggesting that the VEGF pathway may be implicated in MF pathogenesis and can represent a novel therapeutic target.

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