Objective—To quantitatively evaluate expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in intracranial tumors in dogs and determine whether relationships exist between circulating and intratumoral VEGF concentrations and tumor type and grade.
Animals—27 dogs with primary intracranial neoplasms and 4 unaffected control dogs.
Procedures—Plasma and brain tumor samples were obtained from each dog, and plasma and intratumoral concentrations of VEGF were measured by use of an ELISA.
Results—Dogs with meningiomas (n = 11) were significantly older than dogs with oligodendrogliomas (7) or astrocytomas (9). Measurable VEGF was detected in all tumors, and a significant negative correlation between age and intratumoral VEGF concentration was detected. Age-adjusted comparisons identified significant differences in intratumoral VEGF concentrations among all tumor types; the highest VEGF concentrations were associated with astrocytomas. Within each tumor type, increasing tumor grade was significantly associated with increasing VEGF expression. Plasma VEGF concentrations were detectable in 9 of 27 dogs; the proportion of dogs with astrocytomas and a detectable circulating VEGF concentration (7/9 dogs) was significantly higher than the proportion of dogs with meningiomas (1/11 dogs) or oligodendrogliomas (1/7 dogs) with a detectable circulating VEGF concentration.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Overexpression of VEGF appears common in canine astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, and meningiomas. In the neoplasms examined, intratumoral VEGF concentrations correlated well with tumor malignancy. The VEGF expression patterns paralleled those of analogous human tumors, providing evidence that dogs are a suitable species in which to study angiogenesis and intracranial neoplasia for human application.