Image_5_Clinical Significance and Immune Landscape of Recurrence-Associated Ferroptosis Signature in Early-Stage Lung Adenocarcinoma.tif
The prevalence of patients newly diagnosed with early-stage lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is growing alongside significant advances in screening approaches. This study aimed to construct ferroptosis-related gene score (FRGscore) for predicting recurrence, explore immune-molecular characteristics, and determine the benefit of immunotherapy in distinct ferroptosis-based patterns and FRGscore-defined subgroups.Methods
A total of 1,085 early-stage LUAD patients from four independent cohorts were included. Consensus clustering analysis was performed using 217 co-expressed FRGs to explore different ferroptosis-mediated patterns. An FRG scoring system was established to predict relapse, quantify ferroptosis-mediated patterns, and evaluate the response to immunotherapy in individual patients based on Lasso-penalized and stepwise Cox regression analyses. Immune landscape involving multiple parameters was further evaluated, stratified by cluster subtypes and FRGscore subgroups.Results
Two ferroptosis-mediated patterns were identified and verified, which were characterized by significantly distinct prognosis and immune profiles. Analyses of immune characteristics showed that identified ferroptosis patterns were characterized as immune-inflamed phenotype and immune-exhausted phenotype. The FRG scoring model based on 11 FRG-derived signatures panel classified patients into the FRGscore-high and FRGscore-low subgroups. Significantly longer recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) were observed in the FRGscore-low subgroup. FRGscore-low patients were characterized by higher tumor mutational burden (TMB), immunoscore, immunophenoscore, and PD-L1 expression level and were associated with lower Tumor Immune Dysfunction and Exclusion (TIDE) score, whereas the opposite was observed in FRGscore-high patients. Immune-active pathways were remarkably enriched in the FRGscore-low subgroup. This scoring model remained highly predictive of prognosis across different clinical, molecular, and immune subgroups. Further analysis indicated that FRGscore-low patients exhibited higher response to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy and better clinical benefits based on two independent immunotherapy cohorts.Conclusion
The proposed FRGscore could highly distinguish the recurrence patterns and molecular and immune characteristics and could predict immunotherapy prognosis, potentially representing a powerful prognostic tool for further optimization of individuated treatment and management strategies in early-stage LUAD.