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Immunodetection and molecular forms of plasma vascular endothelial growth factor-C

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Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C is a member of the VEGF family. VEGF-C is involved in developmental lymphangiogenesis and may be important in pathological lymphangiogenesis, lymphatic invasion and metastasis in carcinoma. We describe the development of an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) assay for the quantification of VEGF-C in plasma. Capture of VEGF-C was achieved using goat anti-human VEGF-C antibody, followed by detection with rabbit anti-human VEGF-C antibody. The sensitivity of the assay was amplified using the biotin-avidin and enhanced chemiluminescence (ECL) systems. The assay was highly sensitive and reproducible with a detection range of 0.4-100 U/ml and the intra- and inter-assay variations were less than 8%. Substitutional tests demonstrated that the assay was specific for VEGF-C with no cross-reaction with VEGF-A or VEGF-D. Practical application of the assay was evaluated in 41 colorectal cancer patients and 31 controls. Median plasma levels of VEGF-C were 35.0 U/ml (range: 17.4-75.9 U/ml) in colorectal cancer patients in contrast to 11.5 U/ml (range: 5.4-21.5 U/ml) in controls (p<0.001). Moreover, VEGF-C levels tended to be elevated in patients with advanced disease compared to early disease, but this was not statistically significant owing to a relatively small number of patients in each group. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting confirmed detection of VEGF-C in plasma and revealed that two forms of VEGF-C were present in the plasma corresponding to ≈40 and ≈80 kDa. The measurement of plasma VEGF-C offers opportunities to explore clinical applications in the management of malignancy, in particular in the prediction of lymphatic spread and in other lymphangiogenesis-related diseases.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory Medicine Academic Group, Department of Experimental Pathology, Stopford Building, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, UK., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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