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Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAAD) is a nonimmunogenic tumor, and very little is known about the relationship between the host immune response and patient survival. We aimed to develop an immune prognostic model (IPM) and analyze its relevance to the tumor immune profiles of patients with PAAD. We investigated differentially expressed genes between tumor and normal tissues in the TCGA PAAD cohort. Immune-related genes were screened from highly variably expressed genes with weighted gene correlation network analysis (WGCNA) to construct an IPM. Then, the influence of IPM on the PAAD immune profile was comprehensively analyzed. A total of 4902 genes highly variably expressed among primary tumors were used to construct a weighted gene coexpression network. One hundred seventy-five hub genes in the immune-related module were used for machine learning. Then, we established an IPM with four core genes (FCGR2B, IL10RA, and HLA-DRA) to evaluate the prognosis. The risk score predicted by IPM was an independent prognostic factor and had a high predictive value for the prognosis of patients with PAAD. Moreover, we found that the patients in the low-risk group had higher cytolytic activity and lower innate anti-PD-1 resistance (IPRES) signatures than patients in the high-risk group. Unlike the traditional methods that use immune-related genes listed in public databases to screen prognostic genes, we constructed an IPM through WGCNA to predict the prognosis of PAAD patients. In addition, an IPM prediction of low risk indicated enhanced immune activity and a decreased anti-PD-1 therapeutic response.


Xiaoqiang Gu, Qiqi Zhang, Xueying Wu, Yue Fan, Jianxin Qian. Gene coexpression network approach to develop an immune prognostic model for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. World journal of surgical oncology. 2021 Apr 12;19(1):112

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PMID: 33845841

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