Thyroid transcription factor‐1 expression in lung neuroendocrine tumours: a gender-related biomarker?

Anna La Salvia, Alessandra Siciliani, Maria Rinzivillo, Monica Verrico, Roberto Baldelli, Giulia Puliani, Roberta Modica, Isabella Zanata, Irene Persano, Giuseppe Fanciulli, Massimiliano Bassi, Massimiliano Mancini, Stefania Bellino, Elisa Giannetta, Mohsen Ibrahim, Francesco Panzuto, Maria Pia Brizzi, Antongiulio Faggiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Thyroid transcription factor‐1 (TTF‐1) assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) is a specific biomarker for lung adenocarcinoma, and is commonly used to confirm the pulmonary origin of neuroendocrine tumours (NET). The majority of the available data suggest that TTF-1 is favourable prognostic biomarker for lung adenocarcinomas, whereas its role is more conflicting for lung NET. The main aim of this multicenter retrospective study was to investigate the potentially relevant associations between TTF-1 biomarker and clinical and pathological features of the study population, as well as determine TTF-1 prognostic effect on the clinical outcome of the patients. Methods: A multicentre retrospective study was conducted on 155 surgically-removed lung NET, with available IHC TTF-1 assessment. Results: Median age was 59.5 years (range 13–86), 97 patients (62.6%) were females, 31 cases (20%) were atypical carcinoids, 4 (2.6%) had TNM stage IV. Mitotic count ≥2 per 10 high-power field was found in 35 (22.6%) subjects, whereas necrosis was detected in 20 patients (12.9%). TTF-1 was positive in 78 cases (50.3%). The median overall survival was 46.9 months (range 0.6–323) and the median progression-free survival was 39.1 months (range 0.6–323). Statistically significant associations were found between (1) TTF-1 positivity and female sex (p = 0.007); and among (2) TTF-1 positivity and the absence of necrosis (p = 0.018). Conclusions: This study highlights that TTF-1 positivity differs according to sex in lung NET, with a more common TTF-1 positive staining in female. Moreover, TTF-1 positivity correlated with the absence of necrosis. These data suggest that TTF-1 could potentially represent a gender-related biomarker for lung NET.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-526
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Biomarkers
  • Gender medicine
  • Lung neuroendocrine tumours
  • Thyroid transcription factor‐1 (TTF-1)


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