Feline vaccine associated sarcoma (VAS) is an aggressive soft tissue cancer for which a great deal of information regarding cause, progression and ultimate best treatment are still unknown. For many tumors, the ability to make new blood vessels (angiogenesis) is often associated with more aggressive tumors that can spread readily and are difficult to treat. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), produced by tumors, creates new blood vessels, thus enabling tumor growth and spread. In people, VEGF levels within the tumor or in the blood are important in determining the course of the disease. In human oncology, a great deal of research has focused on the application of anti-VEGF therapy, and numerous clinical trials using VEGF inhibitors have been conducted or are ongoing. Many results have been promising when these agents have been used in conjunction with chemotherapy.
The goal of this study is first, to examine VEGF blood levels in healthy cats and those with VAS; second, determine tumor VEGF levels and compare these levels with the degree of tumor angiogenesis; and third to compare VEGF blood levels with tumor levels. Results of this study will establish a range of VEGF levels in normal cats for future studies and determine the role of VEGF in VAS. This information will be helpful in designing future studies for VAS.