Serum vascular endothelial growth factor as a significant marker of treatment response in pediatric malignancies

M. Weyl Ben Arush, P. Schenzer, S. Maurice, R. Elhasid, S. Postovsky, A. Ben Barak, M. Haimi, I. Zeidman, L. Hayari, E. Livne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this pilot study was to determine VEGF serum levels (S-VEGF) at diagnosis and at restaging in children diagnosed with cancer, and to investigate whether this parameter provides prognostic information for remission after induction therapy and response to treatment. S-VEGF levels of 35 consecutive pediatric patients with various types of cancer were assayed at diagnosis and at restaging. Levels of VEGF were determined using a commercially available ELISA anti-human VEGF immunoassay kit. Thirty-one children went into complete remission or had a very good partial response to first-line therapy; 4 patients developed tumor progression. At diagnosis average S-VEGF level was 495 pg/mL (range, 0.89-2220 pg/mL) and at restaging it decreased to 118.36 pg/mL (range, 7.44-487 pg/mL). (p = .0039). The 4 patients with tumor progression had increased S-VEGF levels at restaging. The comparison between the levels of S-VEGF at diagnosis and at restaging showed a significant difference for the patients who responded to treatment with decreased S-VEGF and the patients who developed tumor progression with increased S-VEGF (p = .0019). One child with metastatic Ewing sarcoma developed progressive disease after several weeks, with significantly progressively higher S-VEGF levels. One child with Hodgkin disease, who had a higher level at first restaging and developed progressive disease, responded to reinduction therapy and had a significantly lower level at the second restaging. The child with metastatic hepatoblastoma responded to first-line chemotherapy with concomitant decrease in S-VEGF and α-fetoprotein levels, but developed local recurrence with elevation in both parameters. Changes in S-VEGF levels correlated with response to treatment for most of the children diagnosed, with cancer. This provides a rationale for exploring clinical interest in S-VEGF measurements of a larger group of children with malignancies, and using the test for clinical trials of antiangiogenic therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-524
Number of pages12
JournalPediatric Hematology and Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Pediatric cancer
  • Solid tumors
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor


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