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Vascular endothelial growth factor A protein level and gene expression in intracranial meningiomas with brain edema

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Nassehi D, Dyrbye H, Andresen M, Thomsen C, Juhler M, Laursen H, Broholm H. Vascular endothelial growth factor A protein level and gene expression in intracranial meningiomas with brain edema. APMIS 2011; 119: 831–43.

Meningiomas are the second most common primary intracranial tumors in adults. Although meningiomas are mostly benign, more than 50% of patients with meningioma develop peritumoral brain edema (PTBE), which may be fatal because of increased intracranial pressure. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an endothelial cell‐specific mitogen and angiogen. VEGF‐A protein, which is identical to vascular permeability factor, is a regulator of angiogenesis. In this study, 101 patients with meningiomas, and possible co‐factors to PTBE, such as meningioma subtypes and tumor location, were examined. Forty‐three patients had primary, solitary, supratentorial meningiomas with PTBE. In these, correlations in PTBE, edema index, VEGF‐A protein, VEGF gene expression, capillary length, and tumor water content were investigated. DNA‐branched hybridization was used for measuring VEGF gene expression in tissue homogenates prepared from frozen tissue samples. The method for VEGF‐A analysis resembled an ELISA assay, but was based on chemiluminescence. The edema index was positively correlated to VEGF‐A protein (p = 0.014) and VEGF gene expression (p < 0.05). The capillary length in the meningiomas was positively correlated to the PTBE (p = 0.038). If VEGF is responsible for the formation of PTBE, the edema may be treated with the anti‐VEGF drug Bevacizumab (Avastin), which has been shown to reduce PTBE in patients with glioblastoma multiforme.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0463.2011.02764.x

Affiliations: 1: Neuropathology Laboratory, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen; 2: Department of Neurosurgery, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen 3: Radiology Department, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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