Original Article

Correlation between thyroid transcription factor-1 expression, immune-related thyroid dysfunction, and efficacy of anti-programmed cell death protein-1 treatment in non-small cell lung cancer

Junji Koyama, Atsushi Horiike, Takahiro Yoshizawa, Yosuke Dotsu, Ryo Ariyasu, Masafumi Saiki, Tomoaki Sonoda, Ken Uchibori, Shingo Nishikawa, Satoru Kitazono, Noriko Yanagitani, Hironori Ninomiya, Yuichi Ishikawa, Makoto Nishio


Background: Recent studies have suggested a correlation between immune-related thyroid dysfunction (irTD) and the superior efficacy of anti-programmed cell death protein-1 (anti-PD-1) treatment in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Embryologically, the lung and thyroid are similar in origin, and thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) expresses in both organs, including NSCLC. We explored our hypothesis that TTF-1 expression in NSCLC might correlate with irTD incidence and anti-PD-1 treatment efficacy.
Methods: We identified 132 patients with NSCLC treated with anti-PD-1 antibody at our hospital between December 2015 and June 2017. We evaluated TTF-1 expression in tumor by immunohistochemistry using a mouse monoclonal antibody (clone 8G7G3/1, 1:100, Dako). IrTD was defined as two or more successive abnormal levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) during anti-PD-1 treatment. We retrospectively assessed correlations between TTF-1 expression in tumor, irTD incidence, and anti-PD-1 treatment efficacy.
Results: Of 132 patients, 67 (51%) and 65 (49%) were positive and negative for TTF-1, respectively. We observed irTD in 19 patients (6 positives and 13 negatives for TTF-1). The incidence of irTD was 9% and 20% in TTF-1-positive and TTF-1-negative NSCLCs, respectively (P=0.086). Particularly, in non-squamous (NSQ) cell carcinomas, the irTD incidence was significantly higher in patients negative for TTF-1 (30%) than in those positive for TTF-1 (9%; P=0.010), and TTF-1 expression was identified as a significant risk factor for irTD on multivariate logistic regression analysis [odds ratio (OR), 0.18; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.05–0.59; P=0.005]. Furthermore, longer median progression-free survival (10.3 months) was observed in patients with TTF-1-negative NSCLC with irTD compared to those with TTF-1-positive NSCLC with irTD, TTF-1-positive NSCLC without irTD, and TTF-1-negative NSCLC without irTD (4.2, 1.4, and 2.4 months, respectively).
Conclusions: TTF-1 expression in NSCLC might correlate with irTD and anti-PD-1 treatment efficacy.

Download Citation