Glucose transporter-1 in pulmonary neuroendocrine carcinomas: Expression and survival analysis
Glucose Transporter Type 1
Glucose transporter-1 (GLUT-1) mediates the transport of glucose across the cellular membrane. Its elevated levels and/or activation have been shown to be associated with malignancy. The aim of this study was to investigate GLUT-1 expression in pulmonary neuroendocrine carcinomas. Tissue microarray-based samples of 178 neuroendocrine carcinomas, including 48 typical carcinoids, 31 atypical carcinoids, 27 large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas and 72 small cell carcinomas from different patients, were studied immunohistochemically for GLUT-1 expression. Forty-seven percent (75/161) of pulmonary neuroendocrine carcinomas were immunoreactive with GLUT-1. GLUT-1 was observed in 7% (3/46) of typical carcinoid, 21% (6/29) of atypical carcinoid, 74% (17/23) of large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma and 78% (49/63) of small cell carcinoma. GLUT-1 expression correlated with increasing patient age (P=0.01) and with neuroendocrine differentiation/tumor type (P<0.001), but not with gender, tumor size or stage. GLUT-1 expression was seen in a characteristic membranous pattern of staining along the luminal borders or adjacent to necrotic areas. GLUT-1 expression was associated with an increased risk of death for neuroendocrine carcinomas as a group (risk ratio=2.519; 95% confidence interval=1.519-4.178; P<0.001) and carcinoids (risk ratio=4.262; 95% confidence interval=1.472-12.343; P=0.01). In conclusion, GLUT-1 is expressed in approximately half of the pulmonary neuroendocrine carcinomas and shows a strong correlation with neuroendocrine differentiation/grade, but not with other clinicopathologic variables. Further studies appear plausible to elucidate the prognostic significance of GLUT-1 expression in pulmonary carcinoids.