Purpose: Vasohibin-1 (VASH1) is a novel angiogenic molecule that is specifically expressed in activated vascular endothelial cells, and the status of VASH1 expression has been documented in cancer angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to address the prognostic value of VASH1 expression in upper urinary tract urothelial carcinomas (UTUC). Experimental Design: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical records of 171 patients with locally advanced UTUC (Ta-3N0M0). The median follow-up period was 3.8 years. We immunohistochemically examined the accomplished microvessels with anti-CD34 as microvessel density (MVD) and the microvessels with activated endothelial cells as VASH1 density. Then, we analyzed the association between immunohistochemical expression and clinical outcomes. Results: Forty-two patients experienced tumor recurrence and of these 34 died of the disease during follow-up. VASH1 density was significantly associated with tumor grade, pathologic T stage, and MVD. The 5-year recurrence-free and cancer-specific survival rates were 66.1% and 72.8% in patients with VASH1 density (≥ 40/mm2) and 81.0% and 86.5% in their counterparts, respectively (P < 0.05). MVD was not an independent predictor of tumor recurrence or cancer-specific survival. Multivariate analyses revealed that high VASH1 density was an independent prognostic indicator of both tumor recurrence (P = 0.024, HR = 2.10) and cancer-specific survival (P = 0.031, HR = 2.23) as well as other standard prognostic factors including high tumor grade and lymphovascular invasion. Conclusions: VASH1 density represents a clinically relevant predictor of patient prognosis in UTUC. The results suggest that VASH1 density could become a new biomarker and provide additional prognostic information in patients with UTUC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research