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We investigated the significance of lymphatic count, vascular count and angiogenic growth factors using immunohistochemistry in 108 tumour specimens of epithelial ovarian cancer with antibodies to lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor (LYVE-1), platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule CD31, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and thymidine phosphorylase (TP) in epithelial ovarian cancer to understand the pathogenesis of metastasis in ovarian cancer. The effect of prognostic variables on progression-free and overall survival was assessed. On multivariate analysis, bulky residual disease after surgery was the best prognostic indicator (P<0.001) for progression-free and overall survival (P<0.001). Lymphatic count was statistically significant as a prognostic factor for progression-free (P=0.05) and overall survival (P=0.04). However, lymphatic count did not impact on survival curves. No correlation was found between lymphatic count and age, histological subtype, FIGO stage or residual disease. Vascular count, VEGF or TP expressions were not significant in either analysis. Lymphatic spread may be significant in aiding metastases in ovarian cancer but requires other biological factors to act in conjunction, as it does not have clearcut prognostic significance. Dissemination of ovarian cancer does not occur primarily through vascular or lymphatic routes but may occur through direct intraperitoneal spread of disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





1650 - 1657


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Blood Platelets, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Lymphangiogenesis, Lymphatic System, Middle Aged, Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial, Ovarian Neoplasms, Ovary, Reference Values, Survival Analysis