Transglutaminase 2 (TG2), a cross-linking enzyme, is involved in drug resistance and in the constitutive activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB). We investigated the association of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment efficacy with TG2 and NF-κB expression in 120 patients: 102 with adenocarcinoma and 18 with other histologic types. All patients underwent surgery; 88 received adjuvant chemotherapy, with 28 receiving platinum-based doublet chemotherapy as first-line treatment and 29 receiving epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy. Patients' TG2 and NF-κB expression values were calculated semiquantitatively. The median TG2 value was 50 (range, 0-300) and the median NF-κB value was 20 (range, 0-240). Disease-free survival did not differ between the low- and high-TG2 groups. Among patients who received palliative platinum-based doublet chemotherapy, progression free survival (PFS) was longer in the low-TG2 group than in the high-TG2 group (11.0 vs. 7.0 months; P=0.330). Among those who received EGFR-TKI therapy, PFS was also longer in the low-TG2 group than in the high-TG 2 group (11.0 vs. 2.0 months; P=0.013). Similarly, in EGFR wild-type patients treated with EGFR-TKI, PFS was longer in patients with low TG2 expression (9.0 vs. 2.0 months; P=0.013). TG2 expression levels can predict PFS in patients with NSCLC treated with EGFR-TKI.
Keywords: Lung Neoplasms; NF-κB; Transglutaminase 2.