Abstract

Advancements in immunotherapy have improved our understanding of the immune characteristics of breast cancer. Here, we analyzed gene expression profiles and clinical data obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas database to identify genes that were differentially expressed between breast tumor tissues and normal breast tissues. Comparisons with the Immunology Database and Analysis Portal (ImmPort) indicated that many of the identified differentially expressed genes were immune-related. Risk scores calculated based on an eight-gene signature constructed from these immune-related genes predicted both overall survival and relapse-free survival outcomes in breast cancer patients. The predictive value of the eight-gene signature was validated in different breast cancer subtypes using external datasets. Associations between risk score and breast cancer immune characteristics were also identified; in vitro experiments using breast cancer cell lines confirmed those associations. Thus, the novel eight-gene signature described here accurately predicts breast cancer survival outcomes as well as immune checkpoint expression and immune cell infiltration processes.