Serum Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A (VEGF-A) as a Biomarker in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck Patients Undergoing Chemoradiotherapy

  • Srivastava, Vikas Kumar (Department of Radiotherapy, King George's Medical University) ;
  • Gara, Rishi Kumar (Department of Endocrinology, Central Drug Research Institute) ;
  • Rastogi, Namrata (Department of Endocrinology, Central Drug Research Institute) ;
  • Mishra, Durga Prasad (Department of Endocrinology, Central Drug Research Institute) ;
  • Ahmed, Mohd Kaleem (Department of Biochemistry, King George's Medical University) ;
  • Gupta, Shalini (Department of Oral Pathology, King George's Medical University) ;
  • Goel, Madhu Mati (Department of Pathology, King George's Medical University) ;
  • Bhatt, Madan Lal Brahma (Department of Radiation Oncology, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2014.04.01


Background: To evaluate serum VEGF-A levels in squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN) patients and relationships with response to therapy. Materials and Methods: Serum VEGF-A levels in patients (n=72) treated with radiotherapy (RT) or radio-chemotherapy (RCT) and controls (n=40) were measured by ELISA. Results: Serum VEGF-A levels of the SCCHN cases were significantly higher (p=0.001) than in healthy controls, and in patients with positive as compared to negative lymph node status (p=0.004). Similarly, patients with advanced stage (Stage III-IV) disease had more greatly elevated levels of serum VEGF-A level than their early stage (Stage I-II) counterparts (p=0.001). In contrast, there was no significant difference (p=0.57) in serum level of VEGF-A in patients with advanced T-stage (T3-4) as compared to early stage (T1-2). Similarly, patients with distant metastasis had no significant (p=0.067) elevation in serum VEGF-A level as compared to non-metastatic disease. However, the non-responder patients had significantly higher serum VEGF-A level as compared to responders (p=0.001). Conclusions: Our results suggest that the serum VEGF-A level may be a useful biomarker for the prediction of response to therapy in SCCHN.


VEGF-A;squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck;serum levels;prognostic marker


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