Abstract

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is closely associated with the immune microenvironment. To identify the effective population before administering treatment, the establishment of prognostic immune biomarkers is crucial for early HCC diagnosis and treatment.

Results: A total of 335 IRGs identified from 788 overlapping IRGs were associated with the survival of HCC. A prognostic immunoscore model was identified. The Kaplan-Meier survival curves and time-dependent ROC analysis revealed a powerful prognostic performance of immunoscore signature via multi validation. Besides, the immunoscore signature exhibited a better predictive power compared to other prognostic signatures. Gene set enrichment analysis showed multiple signaling differences between the high and low immunoscore group. Furthermore, immunoscore was significantly associated with multiple immune cells and immune infiltration in the tumor microenvironment.

Conclusions: We identified the immunoscore as a robust marker for predicting HCC patient survival.

Methods: Three sets of immune-related genes (IRGs) were integrated to identify the overlapping IRGs. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis was performed to obtain the survival-related IRGs. Further, the prognostic immunoscore model was constructed via LASSO-penalized Cox regression analysis. Then the prognostic performance of immunoscore was evaluated. In addition, ESTIMATE and CIBERSORT algorithms were applied to explore the relationship between immunoscore and tumor immune microenvironment.