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Prognostic significance of VEGF-C, semaphorin 3F, and neuropilin-2 expression in oral squamous cell carcinomas and their relationship with lymphangiogenesis



Prognostic significance of VEGF-C, semaphorin 3F, and neuropilin-2 expression in oral squamous cell carcinomas and their relationship with lymphangiogenesis



Journal of Surgical Oncology 111(4): 382-388



Neuropilin-2 (NRP2), a receptor for vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) and semaphorin 3 F (SEMA3F), is a possible regulator of tumor progression and angiogenesis. However, little evidence of a correlation between NRP2 expression and lymphangiogenesis has been reported. SEMA3F might suppress lymphangiogenesis by competing with VEGF-C for binding to NRP2. We evaluated lymphatic vessel density (LVD), lymphatic vessel invasion (LVI), the expression levels of VEGF-C, SEMA3F, and NRP2 by immunohistochemistry in 80 cases of oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs). In these tumors, the expression of NRP2 was positively associated with T stage classification, lymph node metastasis, LVD, LVI, and the expression of VEGF-C. In contrast, low expression of SEMA3F was significantly related to poor differentiation and higher incidence of lymph node metastasis. Patients expressing high levels of VEGF-C or NRP2, or low levels of SEMA3F had a higher risk of recurrence and shorter overall survival. Multivariate analysis showed that VEGF-C and NRP2 were independent prognostic markers for overall survival. Results indicate SEMA3F is an inhibitor of tumor progression and provide evidence for an association between NRP2 and VEGF-C, lymphangiogenesis, lymph node metastasis. This suggests the prognostic significance and potential therapeutic value of the VEGF-C/SEMA3F/NRP2 axis for OSCCs.

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Accession: 058637028

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PMID: 25475162

DOI: 10.1002/jso.23842


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