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posted on 16.09.2021, 05:07 by Junli Wang, Qi Zhang, Fukang Shi, Dipesh Kumar Yadav, Zhengtao Hong, Jianing Wang, Tingbo Liang, Xueli Bai

Purpose: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most prevalent malignant diseases worldwide and has a poor prognosis. Gene-based prognostic models have been reported to predict the overall survival of patients with HCC. Unfortunately, most of the genes used in earlier prognostic models lack prospective validation and, thus, cannot be used in clinical practice.

Methods: Candidate genes were selected from GEPIA (Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis), and their associations with patients’ survival were confirmed by RT-PCR using cDNA tissue microarrays established from patients with HCC after radical resection. A multivariate Cox proportion model was used to calculate the coefficient of corresponding gene. The expression of seven genes of interest (MKI67, AR, PLG, DNASE1L3, PTTG1, PPP1R1A, and TTR) with two reference genes was defined to calculate a risk score which determined groups of different risks.

Results: Our risk scoring efficiently classified patients (n = 129) with HCC into a low-, intermediate-, and high-risk group. The three groups showed meaningful distinction of 3-year overall survival rate, i.e., 88.9, 74.5, and 20.6% for the low-, intermediate-, and high-risk group, respectively. The prognostic prediction model of risk scores was subsequently verified using an independent prospective cohort (n = 77) and showed high accuracy.

Conclusion: Our seven-gene signature model performed excellent long-term prediction power and provided crucially guiding therapy for patients who are not a candidate for surgery.

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