Objective We evaluated the expression of human trophoblast cell surface marker (Trop-2) in endometrial endometrioid carcinoma (EEC) and the potential application of hRS7, a humanized monoclonal anti–Trop-2 antibody, as a therapeutic agent against poorly differentiated EEC.
Methods Trop-2 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 131 EEC with different degrees of differentiation and 32 normal endometrial controls (NEC). Trop-2 expression was also evaluated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and flow cytometry in 3 primary EEC cell lines derived from patients harboring poorly differentiated EEC. Finally, the sensitivity of grade 3 EEC cell lines to hRS7 antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity was tested in standard 5-hour 51Cr release assays.
Results Trop-2 expression was detected in 126 (96.2%) of 131 EEC samples. Tumor tissues showed markedly increased Trop-2 positivity compared with NEC (P = 0.001). Trop-2 expression was significantly higher in all grades of EEC versus NEC. Grade 3 tumors displayed significantly stronger Trop-2 immunostaining compared with grade 1 EEC (P = 0.01). High Trop-2 expression by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and flow cytometry was found in 1 grade 3 EEC primary cell line (EEC-ARK-1). Unlike Trop-2–negative EEC cell lines, EEC-ARK-1 was found highly sensitive to hRS7-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity in vitro (range of killing, 33.9%–50.6%; P = 0.004). Human serum did not significantly inhibit hRS7-mediated cytotoxicity against EEC-ARK-1 (P = 0.773).
Conclusions Trop-2 is highly expressed in EEC, and its expression is significantly higher in poorly differentiated EEC when compared with well-differentiated EEC. Primary grade 3 EECs overexpressing Trop-2 are highly sensitive to hRS7-mediated cytotoxicity in vitro. hRS7 may represent a novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of high-grade EEC refractory to standard treatment modalities.
- Endometrial cancer
- Endometrioid carcinoma
- Natural killer cells
- Trop-2 protein
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The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.