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Br J Cancer. 2008 Oct 21;99(8):1290-5. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604677. Epub 2008 Sep 23.

High expression of TROP2 correlates with poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer.

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Department of Hematology and Oncology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck 6020, Austria.


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most devastating human malignancies. Despite considerable research efforts, it remains resistant to almost all available treatment regimens. The human trophoblast cell-surface antigen, TROP2, was found to be strongly expressed in a variety of human epithelial cancers, correlating with aggressiveness and poor prognosis. TROP2 antigen expression was investigated retrospectively by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded primary tumour tissue samples from a series (n=197) of consecutive patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Survival was calculated using Kaplan-Meier curves. Parameters found to be of prognostic significance in univariate analysis were verified in a multivariate Cox regression model. TROP2 overexpression was observed in 109 (55%) of 197 pancreatic cancer patients and was significantly associated with decreased overall survival (P<0.01). By univariate analysis, TROP2 overexpression was found to correlate with the presence of lymph node metastasis (P=0.04) and tumour grade (P=0.01). Furthermore, in the subgroup of patients treated surgically with curative intent, TROP2 overexpression significantly correlated with poor progression-free survival (P<0.01). Multivariate analyses revealed TROP2 to be an independent prognosticator. These findings suggest for the first time that TROP2 could be a novel prognostic biomarker for pancreatic cancer. Targeting TROP2 might be a useful treatment approach for patients with pancreatic cancer overexpressing this cell-surface marker.

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