Introduction: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play important roles in tumor immunosuppression and immune escape. The aim of the present study was to construct a novel Tregs-associated biomarker for the prediction of tumour immune microenvironment (TIME), clinical outcomes, and individualised treatment in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Methods: Single-cell sequencing data were obtained from the three independent cohorts. Cox and LASSO regression were utilised to develop the Tregs Related Scoring System (TRSSys). GSE140520, ICGC-LIRI and CHCC cohorts were used for the validation of TRSSys. Kaplan-Meier, ROC, and Cox regression were utilised for the evaluation of TRSSys. The ESTIMATE, TIMER 2.0, and ssGSEA algorithm were utilised to determine the value of TRSSys in predicting the TIME. GSVA, GO, KEGG, and TMB analyses were used for mechanistic exploration. Finally, the value of TRSSys in predicting drug sensitivity was evaluated based on the oncoPredict algorithm.

Results: Comprehensive validation showed that TRSSys had good prognostic predictive efficacy and applicability. Additionally, ssGSEA, TIMER and ESTIMATE algorithm suggested that TRSSys could help to distinguish different TIME subtypes and determine the beneficiary population of immunotherapy. Finally, the oncoPredict algorithm suggests that TRSSys provides a basis for individualised treatment.

Conclusions: TRSSys constructed in the current study is a novel HCC prognostic prediction biomarker with good predictive efficacy and stability. Additionally, risk stratification based on TRSSys can help to identify the TIME landscape subtypes and provide a basis for individualized treatment options.