Authors: Tao Yan et al
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) have been involved in tumor growth and metastasis. Sevoflurane may promote angiogenesis, whereas propofol can present an anti-angiogenic effect. In this study, we compared the effects of propofol/remifentanil-based total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) and sevoflurane-based inhalational anesthesia on the release of VEGF-C and TGF-β, as well as recurrence- free survival (RFS) rates in the patients undergoing breast cancer surgery.
Eighty female patients undergoing breast cancer resection were enrolled and randomized to receive either sevoflurane-based inhalational anesthesia (SEV group) or propofol/remifentanil-based TIVA (TIVA group). The serum concentrations of VEGF-C and TGF-β before and 24 h after surgery were measured and RFS rates over a two-year follow-up were analyzed in both groups. The postoperative pain scores assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the use of perioperative opioids were also evaluated.
Although VAS scores at 2 h and 24 h after surgery were comparable between the two groups, there were more patients receiving postoperative fentanyl in the TIVA group (16[40%]) compared with the SEV group (6[15%], p = 0.023). VEGF-C serum concentrations increased after surgery from 105 (87–193) pg/ml to174 (111–281) pg/ml in the SEV group (P = 0.009), but remained almost unchanged in the TIVA group with 134 (80–205) pg/ml vs.140(92–250) pg/ml(P = 0.402). The preoperative to postoperative change for VEGF-C of the SEV group (50 pg/ml) was significantly higher than that of the TIVA group (12 pg/ml) with a difference of 46 (− 11–113) pg/ml (P = 0.008). There were also no significant differences in the preoperative and postoperative TGF-β concentrations between the two groups. The two-year RFS rates were 78% and 95% in the SEV and TIVA groups (P = 0.221), respectively.
In comparison with sevoflurane-based inhalational anesthesia, propofol/remifentanil -based total intravenous anesthesia can effectively inhibit the release of VEGF-C induced by breast surgery, but didn’t seem to be beneficial in the short-term recurrence rate of breast cancer.