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posted on 13.12.2021, 04:42 authored by Jiang Yang, Shasha Hong, Xiaoyi Zhang, Jingchun Liu, Ying Wang, Zhi Wang, Likun Gao, Li Hong
Background

The tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) has been recognized to be an imperative factor facilitating the acquisition of many cancer-related hallmarks and is a critical target for targeted biological therapy. This research intended to construct a risk score model premised on TIME-associated genes for prediction of survival and identification of potential drugs for ovarian cancer (OC) patients.

Methods and Results

The stromal and immune scores were computed utilizing the ESTIMATE algorithm in OC patient samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Weighted gene co-expression network and differentially expressed genes analyses were utilized to detect stromal-and immune-related genes. The Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO)-Cox regression was utilized for additional gene selection. The genes that were selected were utilized as the input for a stepwise regression to construct a TIME-related risk score (TIMErisk), which was then validated in Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. For the evaluation of the protein expression levels of TIME regulators, the Human Protein Atlas (HPA) dataset was utilized, and for their biological functions, the TIMER and CIBERSORT algorithm, immunoreactivity, and Immune Cell Abundance Identifier (ImmuCellAI) were used. Possible OC medications were forecasted utilizing the Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer (GDSC) database and connectivity map (CMap). TIMErisk was developed based on ALPK2, CPA3, PTGER3, CTHRC1, PLA2G2D, CXCL11, and ZNF683. High TIMErisk was recognized as a poor factor for survival in the GEO and TCGA databases; subgroup analysis with FIGO stage, grade, lymphatic and venous invasion, debulking, and tumor site also indicated similar results. Functional immune cells corresponded to more incisive immune reactions, including secretion of chemokines and interleukins, natural killer cell cytotoxicity, TNF signaling pathway, and infiltration of activated NK cells, eosinophils, and neutrophils in patients with low TIMErisk. Several small molecular medications which may enhance the prognosis of patients in the TIMErisk subgroup were identified. Lastly, an enhanced predictive performance nomogram was constructed by compounding TIMErisk with the FIGO stage and debulking.

Conclusion

These findings may offer a valuable indicator for clinical stratification management and personalized therapeutic options for OC patients and may be a foundation for future mechanistic research of their association.

History

References