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 traction 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.
- Non-small cell lung cancer
- Thyroid transcription factor-1
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine