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Dong Chan Lee 1 Article
Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor is a clinically useful predictor for aggressive basal cell carcinoma
Jong Soon Choi, Dong Chan Lee, Hee Kyung Chang
Kosin Med J. 2018;33(1):75-84.   Published online January 21, 2018
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Abstract PDFPubReader   CrossRef-TDMCrossref - TDM

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) tumors are locally invasive but rarely metastatic. However, aggressive metastatic variants are being increasingly reported in elderly people. Here we investigated the clinical utility of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as a predictive biomarker for aggressive BCC variants.


Thirty-five pathologically confirmed cases of BCC that underwent surgical removal in the Plastic Surgery Department between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012 were studied. VEGF expression was analyzed in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue by immunohistochemical staining. Positive staining was defined as more than 10% of the tumor cells showing immunoreactivity. The associations of VEGF expression with various clinicopathologic parameters were analyzed.


The face was the most prevalent site (28/35), with 15 cases from the nose, 6 cases from the eyelid, and 5 cases from the cheek. The patients were aged between 41 and 86 years, with a mean age of 69.26 ± 173.903 years. The mean BCC size was 1.34 ± 3.853 cm, with a range of 0.3 cm to 12.0 cm. The mean tumor invasion depth from the basement epidermal membrane was 0.17 ± 0.035 cm, with a range of 0.03 cm to 1.10 cm. A mean of 5.66 ± 20.938 intraoperative frozen section slides were examined. VEGF was not expressed in 14 of the 35 patients (40.0%), whereas 42.9% of the patients had low expression and 17.1% of the patients had high expression. VEGF expression was significantly associated with age (P = 0.022), size (P = 0.030), site (P = 0.013), tumor invasion depth (P = 0.019), and number of intraoperatively frozen sections (P = 0.003).


These results suggest that VEGF expression as assessed by immunohistochemistry can predict aggressive or poor prognosis in BCC.

KMJ : Kosin Medical Journal