Posted: Monday, September 18, 2023
Minfeng Chen, MD, of Xiangya Hospital Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China, and colleagues have uncovered essential genetic insights that may ultimately enhance the outcomes of immunotherapy for bladder cancer. The research, aimed at addressing the challenge of identifying ideal candidates for this treatment, reveals a set of key genes closely linked to patient prognosis and treatment response. Their results were published in JCO Precision Oncology.
Through exploration of the Gene Expression Omnibus and The Cancer Genome Atlas databases, the investigators have identified five significant genes—CNTN1, MAP1A, EMP1, MFAP5, and PTGIS. These genes not only exhibit robust associations with patient prognoses, they noted, but also demonstrate connections with immune checkpoint molecules, suggesting a potential role in determining the outcomes of immunotherapy. The study’s findings were validated through real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, and the IMvigor210 data set.
To delve deeper into their functional roles, the researchers conducted comprehensive cell proliferation experiments aimed at elucidating the impact of CNTN1 and EMP1. The results underscored the pronounced tumor-promoting effects exerted by these genes, according to the researchers. Building upon these insights, the investigators devised a risk prediction tool centered around the five identified genes. This tool not only seemed to predict patient prognoses, it also appeared to signal outcomes from immunotherapy. For example, patients categorized as being at high risk by this tool had inferior outcomes, both in terms of prognosis and response to immunotherapy, compared with their lower-risk counterparts.
Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.