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Am J Surg Pathol. 2001 Mar;25(3):363-72.

Immunoreactivity for thyroid transcription factor-1 in stage I non-small cell carcinomas of the lung.

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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, European Institute of Oncology and University of Milan School of Medicine, Milan, Italy.


Thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) is a nuclear protein regulating the transcriptional activity of lung-specific genes in the normal and neoplastic bronchioloalveolar cells. It has been implicated in the normal growth and development of the lung, and the disruption of the TTF-1 locus leads to neonatal death with pulmonary hypoplasia. We evaluated retrospectively the prevalence and clinical significance of TTF-1 immunoreactivity in 222 patients with stage I non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) with a follow-up time of at least 5 years, and we investigated its relationship with other markers of tumor growth, namely cell proliferation and angiogenesis. TTF-1 immunoreactivity was documented by using the commercially available monoclonal antibody 8G7G3/1 in 72% of 97 adenocarcinomas, 5% of 119 squamous cell carcinomas, and in the glandular component of two adenosquamous carcinomas. Four large cell carcinomas were completely unreactive. In adenocarcinomas, but not squamous cell carcinomas, TTF-1 immunoreactivity correlated significantly with microvessel density (p = 0.04) and inversely with the tumor proliferation fraction assessed by Ki-67 immunostaining (p = 0.03). Also, TTF-1-immunoreactive adenocarcinomas showed a trend for a size less than 3 cm (p = 0.08). TTF-1 expression was not related to specific growth patterns, tumor grade, or tumor cell typing. TTF-1 immunoreactivity did not significantly affect patient survival, although patients with more than 75% immunoreactive neoplastic cells showed a trend for longer overall and disease-free survival. Our findings suggest that TTF-1 could be involved in the development of small pulmonary adenocarcinomas, but it has not prognostic implications in patients with stage I NSCLC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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