METHODS: Blood from 30 patients with primary OSCC and 1:1 age-sex-matched controls was subjected to qPCR and ELISA to detect VEGF-A gene expression and serum level. Tumors of the 30 patients were investigated for VEGF Receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) expression and were analyzed using Image J software version 1.52 for DAB percentage (DAB-P) area and optical density (OD).
RESULTS: VEGF-A relative gene expression among patients was 2.43-fold higher compared to the healthy control group. Well-differentiated had a 1.98-fold increment, while poorly differentiated had a 3.58-fold increment. Serum VEGF-A was significantly elevated among the patients compared to controls (458.7 vs 253.2, p=0.0225). Poorly differentiated had a higher serum VEGF concentration (1262.0±354.7pg/ml) compared with other two. Mean VEGFR-2 DAB-P level in OSCC was 42.41±5.61(p=0.15). Well-differentiated had a DAB-P of 41.20±5.32 while poorly differentiated had DAB-P 46.21±3.78. The mean OD in OSCC was 0.54±0.16. VEGFR-2 OD in well and poorly differentiated OSCC were 0.48±0.12 and 0.68±0.17, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: VEGF-A gene expression, serum levels, and tissue VEGFR-2 levels correlated linearly with the stage and grade of the tumor. This study justifies the value of VEGF-A as a potential biomarker in OSCC in early detection of OSCC. More studies are needed to accept the use of VEGF-A.