Purpose: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiopoietins (Ang-1 and Ang-2), and their receptorTie2 are critically involved in both normal and pathologic angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to explore the role of Ang-1, Ang-2,VEGF, and Tie2 in the development and progression of bladder cancer as well as to examine their prognostic value in this tumor type. Experimental Design: Tumor samples of 113 bladder cancer patients, normal bladder epithelium of 5 noncancer patients, and two low-grade (UMUC3 and RT4) and two high-grade (J82 and T24) bladder cancer cell lines were analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR. The expression data were analyzed performing Wilcoxon rank-sum and Kaplan-Meier log-rank tests as well as univariate Cox analyses and Cox proportional hazards regression model. Results: In tissues of noninvasive bladder tumors, Ang-1 expression was significantly lower (P < 0.001), whereas VEGF expression was significantly higher (P = 0.031) thaninnormal bladder tissue. These findings were also confirmed at the protein level by immunohistochemistry. In contrast, Tie2 and Ang-2 abundance in tumor did not differ significantly from that in normal bladder tissue. Multivariate analysis identified Ang-2 as a strong and independent predictor of tumor recurrence [hazard ratio (HR), 10.18; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 2.69-38.49; P < 0.001] and Tie2 expression as an independent favorable prognostic factor for both metastasis (HR, 0.31;95% CI,0.11-0.89; P = 0.029) and disease-specific survival (HR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.10-0.62; P = 0.003). Conclusions: These data show the strongest change in expression of VEGF and Ang-1 in superficial bladder cancer in comparison with normal bladder epithelium and the invasive tumor stages. The prognostic significance of Ang-2 and Tie2 underlines the essential role of angiopoietins-Tie2 system in progression of bladder cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research