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Minerva Ginecologica 2000 March;52(3):73-82


language: Italian

The importance of angiogenesis in the survival of patients with cervical cancer stage Ib-IIb

Garozzo G., Caragliano L., Consalvo P., Torrisi A. M., Caschetto S.


The survival of patients with cervical cancer has not improved much over the past few years. Cervical cancer is characterised by a degree of heterogeneity. Some patients undergoing surgery die a few months after diagnosis and treatment, whereas others live for longer and metastases only occur at a later stage. Over the past few years a new prognostic factor of cervical cancer has been identified. Neoangiogenesis can predict the possible metastasization of lymph nodes, disease-free survival, recidivation and therefore which patients require specific postoperative adjuvant therapies. This oncogenetic model, which also correlates the degree of neoangiogenesis with metastasization, and hence the level of tumour aggression, has been well demonstrated in lung cancer and skin melanoma. The microscopic discovery of increased tumour vascularization might be a useful independent prognostic factor in patients otherwise regarded as low risk. Cervical cancer with intense neoangiogenesis at an early phase may undergo rapid growth, early invasion and an increased capacity for metastasization. Neoangiogenesis is expressed as the density of microvessels inside the stroma of the neoplasm in invasive cervical cancer. It is predictive of recurrent disease and mortality independent of other prognostic factors. Patients with a high density of microvessels have a risk of fatal recidivation. The quantification of angiogenesis in primary tumours may be a useful prognostic factor in patients with cervical cancer. The quantification of neovascularization in neoplasms today is made easier by immunohistochemical staining procedures with greater specificity and sensitivity compared to conventional stains. It is to be hoped that this me-thod will be used systematically by pathologists in biopsies to identify the most appropriate surgical and adjuvant therapies.

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