Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Endocrine gland-VEGF (EG-VEGF) are down regulated in head and neck cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

Bouzoubaa M, et al. Clin Otolaryngol 2020.


OBJECTIVE: To characterize the role of VEGF, EG-VEGF and its receptors in the developmentand progression of HNC.

DESIGN: Human serumand tissues samples were collected from healthy, epulis and HNC patients and used for ELISA assays and immunohistochemistry studies, respectively.

SETTING: Ibn Rochd Hospital of Casablanca (Morocco), INSERM and University of Grenoble Alpes (France).

PARTICIPANTS: We used serum from 64 patients with head and neck cancers and from 71 controlswithout general pathology. Tissues samples were collected from 7 patients with OSCC and from 7 patients with Epulis.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We compared circulating VEGF and EG-VEGF in normal and HNC patients and determined the expression, localization and quantification of VEGF, EG-VEGF and its receptors; PROKR1 and PROKR2 as well as Ki67, CD31 and CD34 in OSCCand Epulispatients.

RESULTS: Both EG-VEGF and VEGF circulating levels were significantly decreased in the HNC (p<0.01). OSCC patients expressed less EG-VEGF and VEGF proteins, higher PROKR1 and PROKR2 with no change in CD31 and CD34 levels. A significant increase in Ki67 was observed in OSCC.

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that circulatingVEGF and EG-VEGF are downregulated in HNC patientsand in OSCC tissue. EG-VEGF receptors were increased in OSCC, along with astabilization of two key markers of angiogenesis. These findings strongly suggest that downregulation of angiogenesis in HNC might explain its moderatemetastatic feature.