Background: Vasohibins (VASH), which are angiogenesis regulators, consist of Vasohibin-1 (VASH1) and Vasohibin-2 (VASH2). VASH1 is an angiogenesis inhibitor, while VASH2 is a proangiogenic factor. Patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) with high tumor expression levels of VASH1 and VASH2 have been reported to show a poor prognosis. The clinical significance of VASH concentrations in the blood of patients with ESCC has not yet been investigated. Methods: Plasma samples from 89 patients with ESCC were analyzed, and the relationships between the plasma VASH concentrations and the clinicopathological factors of the patients were evaluated. Immunohistochemical examination (IHC) of the resected tumor specimens for VASH was performed in 56 patients, and the correlation between the plasma VASH concentrations and tumor expression levels of VASH was analyzed. Results: The patient group with high plasma concentrations of VASH1 showed a higher frequency of lymph node metastasis (P = 0.01) and an invasive growth pattern (P = 0.05). Furthermore, poorly differentiated cancer occurred at a higher frequency in the patient group with high plasma concentrations of VASH2 (P < 0.01). High tumor expression levels of VASH1 were encountered more frequently in the patient group with high plasma concentrations of VASH1 (P = 0.03), and high tumor expression levels of VASH2 were encountered more frequently in the patient group with high plasma concentrations of VASH2 (P = 0.04). Conclusions: In patients with ESCC, high plasma concentrations were associated with poor clinical outcomes for both VASH1 and VASH2. We propose that results indicate that plasma VASH1 and VASH2 are useful biomarkers in patients with ESCC.
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