Open Access Research article

Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 mRNA overexpression in peripheral blood as a useful prognostic marker in breast cancer

Yoshimasa Kosaka14, Akemi Kataoka2, Hiroshi Yamaguchi2, Hiroaki Ueo3, Sayuri Akiyoshi1, Norihiko Sengoku4, Masaru Kuranami4, Shinji Ohno2, Masahiko Watanabe4, Koshi Mimori1 and Masaki Mori1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, 4546, Tsurumihara, Beppu 874-0838, Japan

2 Department of Breast Oncology, Kyushu Cancer Center, 3-1-1 Notame, Minami-ku 811-1395, Japan

3 Ueo Breast Surgical Hospital, 188-2 Haya, Oita 870-0854, Japan

4 Department of Surgery, Kitasato University School of Medicine, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Minami-ku, Sagamihara 252-0374, Japan

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Breast Cancer Research 2012, 14:R140  doi:10.1186/bcr3345

Published: 31 October 2012

Abstract

Introduction

Identification of useful markers associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer patients is critically needed. We previously showed that expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 mRNA in peripheral blood may be useful to predict distant metastasis in gastric cancer patients. However, expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 mRNA in peripheral blood of breast cancer patients has not yet been studied.

Methods

Real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR was used to analyze vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 mRNA expression status with respect to various clinical parameters in 515 patients with breast cancer and 25 controls.

Results

Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 mRNA in peripheral blood was higher in breast cancer patients than in controls. Increased vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 mRNA expression was associated with large tumor size, lymph node metastasis and clinical stage. Patients with high vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 mRNA expression also experienced a poorer survival rate than those with low expression levels, including those patients with triple-negative type and luminal-HER2(-) type disease.

Conclusions

Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 mRNA in peripheral blood may be useful for prediction of poor prognosis in breast cancer, especially in patients with triple-negative type and luminal-HER2(-) type disease.