Impact of laparotomy and liver resection on the peritoneal concentrations of fibroblast growth factor 2, vascular endothelial growth factor and hepatocyte growth factor

Whitworth, M. K.; Sheen, A.; Rosa, D. D.; Duff, S. E.; Ryder, D.; Burumdayal, A.; Wiener, K.; Hawkins, R. E.; Saunders, M.; Valle, J. W.; Sherlock, D.; Jayson, G. C.
January 2006
Journal of Cancer Research & Clinical Oncology;Jan2006, Vol. 132 Issue 1, p41
Academic Journal
Purpose: Some data have suggested that major surgery is associated with the post-operative growth of residual tumour masses but the mechanism of this is unknown. This study was designed to determine the relationship between intraperitoneal (IP) cytokine levels, and laparotomy in benign and malignant settings. Methods: Intraperitoneal fluid specimens were obtained at the start and at the end of laparotomy in patients with benign conditions ( n=10) and in others undergoing resection of hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer ( n=10). Using ELISA the concentration of the angiogenic cytokines, HGF, VEGF-A, VEGF-C, VEGF-D and FGF-2 was determined. Results: The data show that in 16 of 20 patients there was a significant increase ( P=0.006) in the IP concentration of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) but not in the other growth factors by the end of the operation. The mean increase in HGF concentration was 821.5 pg/ml (95% CI: 11.0–6,426.0). Neither the groups (malignant and non-malignant) nor the length of operation correlated with greater or lesser increases in HGF. Conclusion: The observation that the increase in HGF occurred in both the cancer and non-cancer groups suggests that it is the surgery rather than the disease that is associated with the increased cytokine concentration. As HGF is a potent endothelial, epithelial and mesenchymal mitogen the data highlight HGF as a potential target for anti-cancer treatments in the peri-operative period. However, investigators should closely monitor wound healing as this may be compromised by this new class of drugs.


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