Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Tumour angiogenesis has been recently recognised as one of the most important prognostic factors in lung cancer. Although a variety of angiogenic factors have been identified, the angiogenesis process remains poorly understood. Bcl-2, c-erbB-2 and p53 are well-known oncogenes involved in non-small-cell lung cancer pathogenesis. A direct correlation of thymidine phosphorylase (TP) and of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) with intratumoural angiogenesis has been reported. In the present study we investigated the possible regulatory role of bcl-2, c-erB-2 proteins in angiogenesis and in VEGF and TP expression in non-small-cell lung cancer. Two hundred sixteen specimens from T1,2-N0,1 staged patients treated with surgery alone were immunohistochemically examined. Bcl-2 and c-erbB-2 were significantly inversely related to each other (P = 0.04) and both were inversely associated with microvessel density (P < 0.02). High TP and VEGF reactivity was statistically related to loss of bcl-2 expression (P < 0.01). A significant co-expression of c-erbB-2 with TP was noted (P = 0.01). However, TP expression was related to high angiogenesis only in cases with absence of c-erB-2 expression (P < 0.0001). c-erbB-2 expression in poorly vascularised tumours was linked with poor outcome (P = 0.03). The present study provides strong evidence that the bcl-2 gene has a suppressive function over genes involved in both angiogenesis (VEGF and TP) and cell migration (c-erbB-2) in NSCLC. TP and c-erbB-2 proteins are significantly, and often simultaneously, expressed in bcl-2 negative cases. However, expression of the c-erbB-2 abolishes the TP-related angiogenic activity. Whether this is a result of a direct activity of the c-erbB-2 protein or a consequence of a c-erbB-2-related immune response remains to be further investigated.

Original publication

DOI

10.1023/a:1006780710148

Type

Journal article

Journal

Clin Exp Metastasis

Publication Date

1999

Volume

17

Pages

545 - 554

Keywords

Aged, Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung, Endothelial Growth Factors, Female, Humans, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Life Tables, Lung Neoplasms, Lymphokines, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Proteins, Neovascularization, Pathologic, Observer Variation, Prognosis, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2, Receptor, ErbB-2, Retrospective Studies, Survival Analysis, Thymidine Phosphorylase, Treatment Outcome, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors