Primitive neuroectodermal brain tumours (PNET) including medulloblastomas (PNET/MB) are the most common malignant brain tumours of childhood. Similar to many other brain tumours, PNET/MB often show marked neovascularisation. To determine which angiogenic factors contribute to PNET/MB angiogenesis, we examined the expression of eight angiogenic factors (vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF, VEGF-B, VEGF-C), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), angiopoetins (Ang-1, Ang-2), transforming growth factor (TGF-α), and platelet-derived endothelial growth factor (PDGF-A)) by semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in six PNET cell lines and 28 primary PNET/MB. Expression levels of angiogenic factors were compared with microvessel density, TrkC mRNA expression, clinical variables and survival outcomes. Our results indicate that all PNET/MB tested produce a wide range of angiogenic factors that are, individually or together, likely to play a direct role in PNET/MB tumour growth. This suggests that anti-angiogenesis approaches targeting VEGF alone may be insufficient in PNET/MB.
- Basic fibroblast growth factor
- Brain tumour
- Platelet-derived endothelial growth factor
- Transforming growth factor-α
- Vascular endothelial growth factor