Background: Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) has recently been considered to promote lymphangiogenesis by up-regulating vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) in breast and lung cancer. However, the impact of COX-2 on lymphangiogenesis of gastric cancer remains unclear. This study aims to test the expression of COX-2 and VEGF-C in human gastric cancer, and to analyze the correlation with lymphatic vessel density (LVD), clinicopathologic features and survival prognosis. Methods. Using immunohistochemistry, COX-2, VEGF-C and level of LVD were analyzed in 56 R0-resected primary gastric adenocarcinomas, while paracancerous normal mucosal tissues were also collected as control from 25 concurrent patients. The relationships among COX-2 and VEGF-C expression, LVD, and clinicopathologic parameters were analyzed. The correlations of COX-2, VEGF-C and level of LVD with patient prognosis were also evaluated by univariate tests and multivariate Cox regression. Results: The expression rates of COX-2 and VEGF-C were 69.64% and 55.36%, respectively, in gastric carcinoma. Peritumoral LVD was significantly higher than that in both normal and intratumoral tissue (P < 0.05). It was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis and invasion depth (P = 0.003, P = 0.05). VEGF-C was significantly associated with peritumoral LVD (r = 0.308, P = 0.021). However, COX-2 was not correlated with VEGF-C (r = 0.110, P = 0.419) or LVD (r = 0.042, P = 0.758). Univariate analysis showed that survival time was impaired by higher COX-2 expression and higher peritumoral LVD. Multivariate survival analysis showed that age, COX-2 expression and peritumoral LVD were independent prognostic factors. Conclusions: Although COX-2 expression was associated with survival time, it was not correlated with VEGF-C and peritumoral LVD. Our data did not show that overexpression of COX-2 promotes tumor lymphangiogenesis through an up-regulation of VEGF-C expression in gastric carcinoma. Age, COX-2 and peritumoral LVD were independent prognostic factors for human gastric carcinoma. © 2011 Gou et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
H.-F., G., X.-C., C., J., Z., M., J., Y., Y., & D., C. (2011). Expressions of COX-2 and VEGF-C in gastric cancer: Correlations with lymphangiogenesis and prognostic implications. Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research. M. Hou, Center of Medical Oncology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org: BioMed Central Ltd. (Floor 6, 236 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8HB, United Kingdom). Retrieved from http://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&PAGE=reference&D=emed10&NEWS=N&AN=2011094717