Coexpression of MUC1 glycoprotein with multiple angiogenic factors in non-small cell lung cancer suggests coactivation of angiogenic and migration pathways.
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We investigated the expression of MUC1 protein and its relationship to the microvessel density and the expression of thymidine phosphorylase, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF-receptor KDR, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and bFGF-receptor (FGFR-2) in non-small cell lung cancer. Although MUC1 expression was found equally in poorly and highly vascularized tumors, a significant coexpression with multiple angiogenic factors and their receptors was noted (P = 0.0002, 0.03, 0.19, 0.10, and 0.01 for thymidine phosphorylase, VEGF, KDR, bFGF, and FGFR-2, respectively). In multiple regression analysis, both angiogenesis and MUC1 expression were independent prognostic variables. The present study suggests the existence of an early genetic event leading to the activation of both migration and angiogenesis pathways in non-small cell lung cancer.
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