Angiopoietin-1 Is Associated With a Decreased Risk of Lymph Node Metastasis in Early Stage Cervical Cancer


Objectives: Lymph node metastasis (LNM) is an important determinant of prognosis in patients with cervical cancer. Members of the angiopoietin family have been demonstrated to regulate tumor-associated angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. This study aimed to investigate the expression levels of angiopoietin-1 (ANG1) and angiopoietin-2 (ANG2) in clinically early stage of cervical cancer along with their correlations with LNM.

Methods: In total, 124 human cervical cancer cases classified into stage IA-IIB in accordance with the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) 2009 staging criteria were included. ANG1 and ANG2 expression levels in the tumor sections were assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models, including age at diagnosis, FIGO stage, tumor size, pathological type, histological grading, depth of stromal invasion, lymph-vascular space invasion (LVSI) and the expression status of ANG1 and ANG2, were used to evaluate the odds ratios (ORs) for LNM.

Results: ANG1 and ANG2 were positively expressed in 75 (60.5%) and 89 (71.8%) cervical cancers respectively, with predominant staining in the cytoplasm. ANG1 expression was significantly decreased in tumors with LNM, while no correlation was observed between ANG2 expression and LNM. More importantly, the multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that high ANG1 expression was an independent protective factor of LNM (OR 0.107, 95% confidential interval [CI] 0.020~0.567), while LVSI was an independent risk factor of LNM (OR 34.313, 95% CI 5.914~199.092).

Conclusion: ANG1 is associated with a significantly decreased risk of LNM in early stage cervical cancer. The predictive value and role of ANG1 in LNM needs to be further investigated in future studies.

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John Mathews
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Journal of Phlebology and Lymphology