Microvessel Landscape Assessment in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: Unclear Value of Targeting Endoglin (CD105) as Prognostic Factor of Clinical Outcome

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Abstract

Objectives

Tumor angiogenesis based on microvessel density assessment has been associated with poor prognosis in several studies of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Expression of endoglin (CD105), a tumor-induced vascularization marker, has been found to represent a negative prognostic factor in many malignant tumors. The aim of our study was to assess the value of tumoral microvascularity both with pan-endothelial markers and endoglin as well, in correlation with the clinical outcome of patients with PDAC.

Methods

Fifty-eight patients with PDAC, 36 males and 22 females, with a mean (SD) age of 65.4 (10.0) years were included in the study. Deparaffinized sections from formalin-fixed areas both from the center and periphery (invasion front) of the tumors were immunostained for CD105 as well as for the endothelial markers CD31 and CD34. Tumoral angiogenesis was assessed on the basis of microvessel density (number of vessels per square millimeter) and on microvascular area (square micrometers) as well.

Results

High intratumoral microvascular area, in endoglin-stained sections, was found to be of marginal prognostic significance for recurrence (log rank, P 0.05). Survival was also marginally associated with CD31 intratumoral microvascular area (log rank, P 0.05).

Conclusions

Further studies are needed before endoglin replaces the conventional angiogenesis markers in PDCA.

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