A novel prognostic risk score model based on immune-related genes in patients with stage IV colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer

Biosci Rep. 2020 Oct 9:BSR20201725. doi: 10.1042/BSR20201725. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to explore immune-related genes (IRGs) in stage IV colorectal cancer (CRC) and construct a prognostic risk score model to predict patient overall survival (OS), providing a reference for individualized clinical treatment.

METHODS: High throughput RNA-sequencing, phenotype, and survival data from patients with stage IV CRC were downloaded from TCGA. Candidate genes were identified by screening for differentially expressed IRGs (DE-IRGs). Univariate Cox regression, LASSO, and multivariate Cox regression analyses were used to determine the final variables for construction of the prognostic risk score model. GSE17536 from the GEO database was used as an external validation dataset to evaluate the predictive power of the model.

RESULTS: A total of 770 candidate DE-IRGs were obtained, and a prognostic risk score model was constructed by variable screening using the following 12 genes: FGFR4, LGR6, TRBV12-3, NUDT6, MET, PDIA2, ORM1, IGKV3D-20, THRB, WNT5A, FGF18, and CCR8. In the external validation set, the survival prediction C-index was 0.685, and the AUC values were 0.583, 0.731, and 0.837 for 1-, 2- and 3-year OS, respectively. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses demonstrated that the risk score model was an independent prognostic factor for patients with stage IV CRC. High- and low-risk patient groups had significant differences in the expression of checkpoint coding genes (ICGs).

CONCLUSION: The prognostic risk score model for stage IV CRC developed in this study based on immune-related genes has acceptable predictive power, and is closely related to the expression of ICGs.