Background: Bladder cancer (BCa) has the highest incidence of aggressive malignant tumors in the urogenital system and is the ninth most common cancer worldwide. Immune function-related genes (IFRGs), which are plentiful in immune cells and the immune microenvironment (IME), have the potential to assess prognosis and predict the efficacy of immunotherapy. A complete and significant immunogenomic analysis based on abundant BCa genetic samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) will provide insight into the field.

Results: A total of 57 differentially expressed IFRGs were significantly associated with the clinical outcomes of patients with BCa. Functional enrichment analysis showed that these genes actively participated in the KEGG pathway of human cytomegalovirus infection. Based on the IFRGs (CALR, MMP9, PAEP, RBP7, STAT1, CACYBP, ANHAK, RAC3, SLIT2, EDNRA, IGF1, NAMPT, NTF3, PPY, ADRB2 and SH3BP2), the risk scores were calculated to predict survival and reveal the relationships with age, sex, grade, staging, T-stage, N-stage, and M-stage. Interestingly, IFRG-based risk scores (IRRSs) reflected the infiltration of several types of immune cells. The expression of CACYBP was more significant in grade 3, T3 and T4 stages than in earlier grades and T-stages.

Conclusion: Our results highlighted some sIFRGs with remarkable clinical relevance, showed the driving factors of the immune repertoire, and illustrated the significance of IFRG-based individual immune features in the identification, monitoring, and prognosis of patients with BCa.

Methods: Based on the TCGA dataset, we integrated the expression profiles of IFRGs and overall survival (OS) in 430 patients with BCa. Differentially expressed IFRGs and survival-related IFRGs (sIFRGs) were highlighted by calculating the difference algorithm and COX regression analysis in patients with BCa. Based on computational biology, the potential molecular mechanisms and characteristics of these IFRGs were also explored. Using multivariate Cox analysis, new risk scores based on immune-related genes were developed. The expression of CACYBP was verified by qPCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry. The relations between CACYBP and clinical features were proven by immunohistochemistry.