To correlate vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma with the clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis; and to assess whether p53 gene status is associated with VEGF expression in human cancers.Methods
Tumour specimens from 45 patients with oral squamous cell carcinomas were examined. Expression of VEGF was determined using an immunohistochemical method, and a tumour was considered positive when more than 5% of the neoplastic cells showed VEGF immunoreactivity. The p53 gene status was screened using a polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism analysis.Results
VEGF positive staining was detected in 19 (42.2%) of the 45 cases. VEGF immunoreactivity did not correlate with the histological degree of tumour differentiation, clinical stages, or lymph node metastasis. The patients with VEGF positive tumours had a significantly worse prognosis than those with VEGF negative tumours. The five year overall survival rate of the VEGF negative patients was 76.5%, as compared with 48.8% for the VEGF positive patients. No significant association between VEGF expression and the p53 gene status of the tumours was found.Conclusions
VEGF is a good prognostic indicator of the survival of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma. The p53 gene status does not seem to be associated with VEGF expression in these cancers.