Abstract

C-C motif chemokine ligand 14 (CCL14) is a chemokine promoting the activation of immune cells. However, the relationship between CCL14 expression, tumor immunity, and prognosis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) remain unclear. CCL14 expression and its influence on tumor prognosis were analyzed by the ONCOMINE, Tumor Immune Estimation Resource (TIMER) and Kaplan-Meier plotter. The relationship between CCL14 expression and tumor immunity were analyzed by TIMER and Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA). CCL14 expression was significantly lower in several human cancers, including HCC, than in corresponding normal tissues. CCL14 expression in HCC tissues correlated with prognosis. Low CCL14 expression associated with poorer overall survival, disease-specific survival, progression-free survival, and relapse-free survival in multiple cohorts of HCC patients, particularly at early disease stages (stage 1+2 or grade 2). CCL14 showed strong correlation with tumor-infiltrating B cells, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, macrophages, neutrophils, and dendritic cells. CCL14 expression in HCC negatively correlated with expression of several immune cell markers, including exhausted T cell markers, PD-1, TIM-3 and CTLA-4, suggesting its role in regulating tumor immunity. These findings demonstrate that CCL14 is a potential prognostic biomarker that determines cancer progression and correlated with tumor immune cells infiltration in HCC.