Researchers say they have identified factors associated with SGLT2 expression in patients with lung cancer. 

The researchers found that SGLT2 expression is strongest in carcinoid tumors, adenosquamous carcinomas, and adenocarcinomas. The degree of SGLT2 expression is associated with tumor grade, and there is no association between SGLT2 expression and survival. 

The researchers reported these findings in a poster at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Annual Meeting.

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The researchers performed tissue microarray analysis using paraffin-embedded human lung cancer specimens from 578 patients. SGLT2-stained slides were reviewed by 2 pathologists. They scored SGLT2 expression based on the intensity of staining, with 0 being no expression, 1 being weak expression, 2 being moderate, and 3 being strong expression.

Of the 578 tumors analyzed, 544 had any SGLT2 expression. Strong SGLT2 expression was seen in:

  • 50% of carcinoid tumors (3/6)
  • 32% of adenosquamous carcinomas (8/25)
  • 29% of adenocarcinomas (97/340)
  • 12% of large cell neuroendocrine carcinomas (7/59)
  • 8% of small cell carcinomas (1/13)
  • 7% of squamous cell carcinomas (10/135).

In the overall cohort, average SGLT2 expression was higher among women than among men (1.96 and 1.81, respectively; P =.014). Average SGLT2 expression was highest among carcinoid tumors (2.50), followed by adenocarcinoma (2.08), and adenosquamous cell carcinoma (2.00). Average SGLT2 expression was also higher in grade 1 tumors (2.14) than in grade 2 (1.97), grade 3 (1.79), or grade 4 (1.64) tumors.

In the adenocarcinoma cohort, average SGLT2 expression was not significantly different by sex or disease stage. However, average expression was higher in grade 1 tumors (2.26) than in grade 2 (2.24) or grade 3 (1.89) tumors.

Five-year survival did not differ significantly when patients were stratified by SGLT2 expression in the entire cohort (P =.40) or in the adenocarcinoma cohort (P =.68). 


Deng J, Riahi I, Lau R, et al. The characterization of SGLT2 expression in human lung cancers. AATS 2023. May 6-9, 2023. Abstract PS70.