Clinical Impact of TROP2 in Non-Small Lung Cancers and Its Correlation With Abnormal p53 Nuclear Accumulation

Tumor-associated calcium signal transducer 2 (TROP2) is a cell-surface glycoprotein involved in the high malignant potential of several cancers. Antibody-drug conjugates that target TROP2 represent a promising approach for the treatment of TROP2-expressing cancers including lung cancer and breast cancer. TROP2 expression was tested by immunohistochemistry in lung adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cell carcinoma samples, and its correlation with clinicopathological factors, including survival rate and p53 mutation, was statistically analyzed. We found that increased TROP2 expression was significantly associated with a poor clinical course in patients with ADC, but not in patients with squamous cell carcinoma. A more significant association with poor outcome was seen in ADC cases with a high histological grade as well as those without the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation. A significant correlation between TROP2 expression and abnormal p53 nuclear accumulation/expression was also found in ADC. In the present study, we discovered a significant correlation between TROP2 expression and p53 mutation in ADC, and that TROP2 expression was a prognostic factor in ADC cases with a high histological grade as well as those without the EGFR mutation. Signals mediated by mutated p53 might influence TROP2 expression in ADC.