Journal Article
. 2020 Sep; 20(5):192.
doi: 10.3892/ol.2020.12054.

A novel definition of microvessel density in renal cell carcinoma: Angiogenesis plus vasculogenic mimicry

Yanyuan Wu 1 Kun Du 2 Wenbin Guan 3 Di Wu 1 Haixiao Tang 1 Ning Wang 4 Jun Qi 1 Zhengqin Gu 1 Junyao Yang 2 Jie Ding 1 
  • PMID: 32952661
  •     77 References


The present study proposed the novel concept of total microvessel density (TMVD), which is the combination of the MVD and the vasculogenic mimicry (VM) status, and evaluated its clinical significance in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). For that purpose, tumor samples from 183 patients with primary RCC were examined by CD34 single or periodic acid Schiff (PAS)/CD34 dual histology staining. MVD and VM were determined according to previous literature. Clinical information (tumor stage and grade, and duration of survival) was retrieved and analyzed. Survival information and VM-associated gene expression data of patients with RCC were also retrieved from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database and the clinical significance of each individual gene was analyzed. The results indicated that MVD exhibited obvious differences among patients with RCC; however, it was not correlated with the stage/grade or length of survival in patients with RCC. In total, 81 patients (44.3%) were CD34(-)/PAS(+) and defined as VM(+), and they had a significantly shorter survival compared with that of VM(-) patients (P=0.0002). VM was not associated with MVD. TMVD was able to distinguish between patients with high and low MVD in terms of survival, thus TMVD was better compared with MVD alone at distinguishing between patients with different survival prognoses. TCGA data analysis revealed that among the VM-associated genes, nodal growth differentiation factor, caspase-3, matrix metalloproteinase-9 and galectin-3 had a statistically significant impact on the overall/disease-free survival of patients with RCC. In conclusion, the TMVD concept may be more appropriate and sensitive compared with the MVD or VM alone in predicting tumor aggressiveness and patient survival, particularly in RCC, which is a highly vascularized, VM-rich neoplasm, and certain VM formation-associated genes are negatively associated with the survival of patients with RCC.

Keywords: TCGA database; immunohistochemical staining; microvessel density; renal cell carcinoma; vasculogenic mimicry.

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