WHAT IS VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL GROWTH FACTOR (VEGF, VASCULAR PERMEABILITY FACTOR, VPF) TEST?
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a glycoprotein substance secreted by some cancers such as renal cell carcinomas. When secreted, VEGF acts directly on endothelial cells to induce the development of tiny blood vessels (angiogenesis), which helps provide the blood flow and nourishment necessary to enable the continued growth of the tumour. In addition to stimulating angiogenesis, VEGF enhances the permeability of blood vessels associated with the tumour, causing oedema, and thus is also known by the term vascular permeability factor (VPF). Because of its role in stimulating angiogenesis near tumours, VEGF is also thought to be an important factor in allowing metastasis to occur. However, the introduction of VEGF is thought to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis. VEGF is present in normal tissues such as the lungs, which are dependent on good blood flow.