High VEGFR-3-positive circulating lymphatic/vascular endothelial progenitor cell level is associated with poor prognosis in human small cell lung cancer
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Clin.Cancer Res. 15 (5): 1741-1746 (2009)

PURPOSE: The newly identified bone marrow-derived cell population, called lymphatic/vascular endothelial progenitor cells (LVEPC), has been shown to contribute to lymph capillary growth in experimental tumor systems. The clinical significance of these cells has not yet been investigated in a human malignancy. Our aim was to study whether peripheral blood circulating LVEPCs participate in the progression of human small cell lung cancer (SCLC). EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A total of 88 patients with limited-stage SCLC and 32 tumor-free control subjects were included. Peripheral blood circulating LVEPC labeled with CD34 and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (VEGFR3) antibodies and the serum levels of the key lymphangiogenic molecule VEGF-C were measured by flow cytometry and ELISA, respectively. RESULTS: CD34-positive/VEGFR3-positive LVEPC levels were significantly increased in patients (versus controls; P<0.01), and there was also a significant relationship between LVEPC counts and
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