Thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) is a DNA-binding protein that is mainly expressed in thyroid and lung tissue, but has also been found in gynecologic tissue. Recent studies have suggested that TTF-1 has tumor suppressor function in lung adenocarcinoma models. In the current study, we examined whether expression of TTF-1 in benign endometrium and endometrial hyperplasia might impact on the risk of developing endometrial cancer. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded endometrial tissues obtained from 535 cases were used to construct an endometrial tissue microarray. One hundred fifty of 207 patients had multiple serial endometrial specimens including 46 patients who progressed to endometrial cancer. The tissue microarray included a range of histopathologies including benign endometrium (n=231), simple hyperplasia (n=105), complex hyperplasia (n=36), simple atypical hyperplasia (n=10), complex atypical hyperplasia (n=44), and endometrial carcinoma (n=109). Expression of TTF-1 by immunohistochemistry in benign endometrium and endometrial hyperplasia was correlated with progression to cancer and clinical features known to be associated with increased risk of developing endometrial cancer. Carcinoma specimens showed a significantly greater expression of TTF-1 compared with benign endometrium and non-atypical hyperplasia (P=0.0007 and P=0.05). Presence of TTF-1 expression in benign endometrium was associated with a significantly decreased risk of cancer development (P=0.003, hazards ratio=0.104, 95% CI: 0.024-0.455). TTF-1 expression in hyperplasia did not significantly correlate with progression to cancer. The data from our study show that TTF-1 expression in normal endometrium is associated with a reduced risk of endometrial cancer development. This observation suggests that TTF-1 might function as a tumor suppressor in endometrial tissue. TTF-1 expression in normal endometrium could potentially provide clinically useful information as a biomarker for the risk of endometrial cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.2012.64
View details for Web of Science ID 000307222200009
View details for PubMedID 22460811