Sci Rep 2019 Apr 19;9(1):6301. Epub 2019 Apr 19.
Department of Medical Oncology, Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital, Beijing, 100853, China.
Dysregulated intratumoral immune reactions are shaped by complex networks of cytokines, which coordinate with tumor cells to determine tumor progression and aggressiveness. In lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD), the role of intratumoral cytokine gene expression for stratifying prognosis has not been systematically investigated. Using high-dimensional datasets of cancer specimens from clinical patients in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we explored the transcript abundance and prognostic impact of 27 clinically evaluable cytokines in 500 LUAD tumor samples according to clinicopathological features and two common driver mutations (EGFR and KRAS). We found that reduced expression of IL12B presented as the single prognostic factor for both poor overall survival (OS) and recurrence free survival (RFS) with high hazard ratios. Moreover, we identified that elevated expression of IL6, CXCL8 and CSF3 were additional independent predictors of poor RFS in LUAD patients. Their prognostic significance was further strengthened by their ability to stratify within clinicopathological factors. Notably, we prioritized high risk cytokines for patients with or without mutations in EGFR and KRAS. Our results provide integrative associations of cytokine gene expression with patient survival and tumor recurrence and demonstrate the necessity and validity of relating clinicopathological and genetic disposition factors for precise and personalized disease prognosis.