Purpose: It is difficult to predict the biological behavior of pancreatic endocrine tumors (PETs). Our aim was to evaluate the prognostic significance of certain variables in PETs. Experimental Design: The following variables were examined in 37 patients with PETs and then compared with other clinicopathologic characteristics: histologic tumor structure; microvessel density (MVD) measured by three different methods, including a unique method involving calculation of solid area MVD; endothelial proliferation; and the immunohistochemical expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A and CXC chemokine CXCL-12. lntratumoral vascular structures were analyzed by double immunofluorescence using 30-μm-thick sections. Results: The presence of focal and intensive solid growth of tumor cells (large solid nests; P = 0.003), low solid area MVD (P = 0.002), a high endothelial cell proliferation index (EPI; P = 0.005). and high expression of CXCL-12 in PETcells (P = 0.018) were significant unfavorable prognostic indicators. The predominant structure of the overall tumor histology and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A did not separate aggressive PETs. In areas of focal solid growth, tumor-associated blood vessels had obviously low MVD and high EPI, and their structures were poorly formed with highly abnormal features, in comparison with other areas. High expression of CXCL-12 in tumor cells was significantly associated with variables representing tumor growth, hematogenous tumor spread, low MVD, high EPI, and the presence of large solid nests. Conclusions: This study has provided novel findings on the prognostic features of tumor architecture and tumor-associated angiogenesis in PETs. CXCL-12 is the first candidate molecule in association with neoangiogenesis in PETs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research