Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is considered as a prime mediator of angiogenesis, and has been implicated in carcinogenesis and metastasis. Various studies examined the relationship between VEGF overexpression with the clinical outcome in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but yielded conflicting results.
Electronic databases updated to June 2013 were searched to find relevant studies. A meta-analysis was conducted with eligible studies which quantitatively evaluated the relationship between VEGF overexpression and survival of patients with HCC. Survival data were aggregated and quantitatively analyzed.
We performed a meta-analysis of 14 studies that evaluated the correlation between VEGF overexpression and survival in patients with HCC. Combined hazard ratios suggested that VEGF overexpression had an unfavorable impact on overall survival (OS) [hazard ratio (HR) =1.42, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.42-1.7], but not disease free survival (DFS) (HR=1.13, 95% CI: 0.89-1.38) in patients with HCC. No significant heterogeneity (P=0.949) was observed among 9 studies for OS, however significant heterogeneity (P=0.008) was observed among 11 studies for DFS.
VEGF overexpression indicates a poor prognosis for patients with HCC.
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