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Open Access Research article

Clinicopathological and prognostic significance of HER-2/neu and VEGF expression in colon carcinomas

Qingguo Li1, Daorong Wang1, Jing Li2 and Ping Chen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of General Surgery, First Clinic Medical School of Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China

2 Department of Medical Oncology, Second Clinic Medical School of Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:277  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-277

Published: 27 June 2011

Abstract

Background

HER-2/neu and VEGF expression is correlated with disease behaviors in various cancers. However, evidence for their expression in colon cancer is rather contradictory both for the protein expression status and prognostic value. HER-2/neu is found to participate in VEGF regulation, and has known correlation with VEGF expression in some tumors. In this study, we investigated HER-2/neu and VEGF expression in Chinese colon patients and explored whether there was any correlation between their expression patterns.

Methods

HER-2/neu and VEGF were investigated immunohistochemically using tumor samples obtained from 317 colon cancer patients with all tumor stages. Correlation of the degree of staining with clinicopathological parameters and survival was investigated.

Results

Positive expression rates of HER-2/neu and VEGF in colon cancer were 15.5% and 55.5% respectively. HER-2/neu expression was significantly correlated with tumor size and distant metastases (P < 0.05), but was not an independent prognostic marker of survival (P > 0.05). Expression of VEGF was significantly correlated with tumor size, tumor stage, lymph node metastases, and distant metastases (P < 0.05). The 5-year survival rate in patients with negative and positive VEGF expression was 70.2% and 61.9% respectively; the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.146). No correlation between HER-2/neu and VEGF expression was detected (P = 0.151).

Conclusions

HER-2/neu and VEGF are not important prognostic markers of colon cancer. The present results do not support any association between HER2/neu and VEGF expression in this setting.