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Original Research

Open Access

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX 2) immunostaining in ovarian cancer

  • R.M. Whynott1
  • K.J. Manahan1
  • J.P. Geisler1,*,

1Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Newnan, GA, USA

DOI: 10.12892/ejgo2705.2016 Vol.37,Issue 2,April 2016 pp.164-166

Published: 10 April 2016

*Corresponding Author(s): J.P. Geisler E-mail:


Purpose of investigation: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX 2) are markers of angiogenesis and potential therapeutic targets. Previous studies demonstrate that VEGF is upregulated in some ovarian cancers. The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation of VEGF and COX 2 staining with survival in ovarian cancer patients. Materials and Methods: One hundred forty-three consecutive patients with ovarian carcinoma underwent primary staging or cytoreduction prior to platinumbased chemotherapy. Their tumors were immunohistochemically stained for expression of VEGF and COX 2. FIGO stage, grade, cytoreduction status, and histology were also analyzed as prognostic factors. Results: Twenty-seven patients had Stage Ⅰ tumors, three Stage Ⅱ, 87 Stage Ⅲ, and 26 Stage Ⅳ. Median follow-up was 74 months (mean 79 months). One hundred nineteen patients (83.2%) had tumors that were positive for VEGF and 110 patients (76.9%) had tumors that were positive for COX 2. Patients with tumors staining positive for both VEGF and COX 2 (68.5%) had a significantly increased risk of dying from their ovarian cancer (Chi-square p = 0.011, Log rank p = 0.037). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed FIGO stage, grade, cytoreduction status, and VEGF/COX 2 expression to be independent prognostic indicators of survival. Conclusion: VEGF and COX 2 staining are frequently positive in ovarian cancer. Patients whose tumors are positive for both VEGF and COX 2 have a decreased survival. These patients may benefit from antiangiogenesis targeted therapy.


VEGF; COX 2; Ovarian cancer.

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R.M. Whynott,K.J. Manahan,J.P. Geisler. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX 2) immunostaining in ovarian cancer . European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology. 2016. 37(2);164-166.


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