The diagnostic significance of trophoblast cell-surface antigen-2 expression in benign and malignant thyroid lesions

Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2019 Apr-Jun;62(2):206-210. doi: 10.4103/IJPM.IJPM_202_18.


Context: Thyroid cancers are the most common malignancy of the endocrine system. Over-expression of trophoblast cell-surface antigen 2 (TROP-2) in various tumors has been found to correlate with poor prognosis and aggressive tumor behavior.

Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluateTROP-2 expression in thyroid neoplasms.

Subjects and methods: This study contained 152 cases, including 48 follicular nodular disease (FND), 29 follicular adenoma (FA), 57 papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), 12 follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC), 3 medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), 2 poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma (PDTC) and 1 undifferentiated thyroid carcinoma (UDTC). TROP-2 expression was investigated via immunohistochemistry in sections prepared from paraffin blocks of the cases.

Results: The cases comprised 32 (21%) males and 120 (79%) females with a mean age of 46.8 years (range, 15-85 years). TROP-2 expression was observed in 74.6% of the malignant lesions of the thyroid except for medullary carcinoma, poorly differentiated and undifferentiated thyroid carcinoma. Immunoreactivity was 3.4% in FA, 41.7% of cases with FTC and 81.8% in PTC follicular variant (PTC fv). The difference between FA/FTC and FA/PTC follicular variant were both significant (P < 0.005, P < 0.001, respectively). There was no difference between FTC/PTC fv (P = 0.089).

Conclusion: TROP-2 can be considered a useful marker for distinguishing PTC fv cases from follicular nodular disease and follicular adenoma cases because of its high sensitivity in the identification of papillary carcinomas of the thyroid.

Keywords: Follicular neoplasm; TROP-2; thyroid carcinoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Follicular / diagnosis*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / diagnosis
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thyroid Cancer, Papillary / diagnosis*
  • Thyroid Gland / pathology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • TACSTD2 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Thyroid cancer, medullary