Study of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Expression in Serous and Mucinous Surface Epithelial Ovarian Tumours in Thrissur


Reethu Anny Eappan, Jini L. Valooran, Jayasree K


Ovarian carcinoma is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in females of the perimenopausal age of which surface epithelial ovarian tumours are the majority. These are often detected at late stages owing to their asymptomatic nature and have a dismal prognosis despite treatment, thus necessitating the need for novel therapeutic agents. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key mediator of angiogenesis that may be a potential target. The purpose of this study was to assess the expression of VEGF in serous and mucinous surface epithelial ovarian tumours and determine whether there is any relationship between VEGF expression and tumour grade.


H and E slides of serous and mucinous surface epithelial ovarian tumours were taken and immunohistochemical staining for VEGF was done. The intensity and percentage of staining was studied in different tumours and a score was obtained. VEGF score was also compared with the grade of the tumour.


Out of 50 cases, 92 % showed VEGF expression, with 60 % showing strong staining and 40 % weak to moderate staining. VEGF expression significantly increased in malignant tumours as compared to benign and borderline ones. There was no significant difference in the VEGF expression with grade of the tumour.


As VEGF expression is higher in malignant cases, anti-VEGF drugs like bevacizumab may have a therapeutic role in ovarian cancer. Also, further studying of the mechanisms by which VEGF is expressed in malignant ovarian tumours may open up newer potential targets. As no significant difference between VEGF expression and grade/stage of disease was obtained, further studies are needed to confirm the prognostic role of VEGF