Placenta growth factor is over-expressed and has prognostic value in human breast cancer

Christian Parr, Gareth Watkins, Mike Boulton, Jun Cai, Wen G. Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Scopus citations


Placenta growth factor (PlGF) belongs to the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family, a group of angiogenic factors that are crucial for tumour angiogenesis. Very little is known about the significance of PlGF in human cancer. We hypothesise that PlGF may have a potent influence in breast cancer. This study examined PlGF levels in human breast cancer in relation to patient's clinical parameters. PlGF expression and distribution was examined quantitatively using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) on a cohort of human breast cancer tissue (n = 119) and background breast tissue (n = 33), qualitatively using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on a range of cell lines, and immunohistochemically on patient samples. All these techniques revealed that PlGF expression was dramatically increased (P = 0.028) in breast cancer tissues compared with normal breast tissue. We demonstrate that PlGF displays prognostic value through analysis of patient survival status (6-year follow-up), as elevated levels of PlGF were significantly associated (P = 0.017) with recurrence, metastasis and patient mortality. Our study has shown that PlGF is over-expressed in breast cancer tissues and correlates with patient prognosis, and is likely to play a major role in the pathogenesis of tumours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2819-2827
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number18
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


  • Angiogenesis
  • Breast cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Placenta growth factor
  • Prognosis
  • Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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