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Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in leptomeningeal metastasis: diagnostic and prognostic value.

Al Musella's Comments: (This is his personal views and are not necessarily the views of the Musella Foundation!)


Posted on: 08/24/2004

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in leptomeningeal metastasis: diagnostic and prognostic value.

Br J Cancer. 2004 Jul 19;91(2):219-24.

Herrlinger U, Wiendl H, Renninger M, Forschler H, Dichgans J, Weller M. Department of General Neurology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tubingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 3, D-72076 Tuebingen, Germany.

This study examined the diagnostic and prognostic value of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 39 patients with leptomeningeal metastasis (LM). Vascular endothelial growth factor levels at diagnosis were significantly higher in patients with LM (median 359 pg ml(-1)) than in patients with other neurological diseases (median <25 pg ml(-1)). The specificity of VEGF levels above 250 pg ml(-1) for LM was high (98.3%), while the sensitivity was low (51.4%; 73% for VEGF values above 100 pg ml(-1)). In 49% of the LM patients, particularly with lymphoma or medulloblastoma, VEGF levels were below 250 pg ml(-1) and thus in the range of VEGF levels in other neurological diseases. Vascular endothelial growth factor levels correlated significantly with CSF lactate and albumin. Vascular endothelial growth factor levels mirrored the clinical course with a marked reduction in response to therapy and an increase at relapse in some patients who had serial CSF samples available. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed VEGF below 100 pg ml(-1) (relative risk (RR)=4.24, P=0.0002) and age below 60 years (RR=2.5, P=0.004) to be associated with longer survival in LM. In conclusion, CSF VEGF levels in LM vary considerably. High VEGF levels have a very high specificity for LM and may help to establish the diagnosis. The role of VEGF as a predictor of outcome should be substantiated in prospective studies.

PMID: 15213721 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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