A recently published article in Experimental Biology and Medicine (Volume 247, Issue 3, February, 2022), describes a new method for evaluating cervical cancer prognosis. The study, led by Dr. Zhong Lin in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Liuzhou Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital in Liuzhou (China), reports a six gene signature that predicts overall survival of cervical cancer patients.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women. In 2018, an estimated 570 000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and about 311 000 women died from the disease. Previous studies have developed prognostic signatures for cervical cancer based on long non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, mRNAs, immune genes, histone genes. Nonetheless, disease reoccurrence in low-risk patients is common. Although copy number variations (CNVs) are common in many types of cancers including cervical cancer, the prognostic value of CNVs in cervical cancer have not been explored.
In this study, Dr. Lin and colleagues used copy number variant (CNV) data and mRNA data to develop a new model for predicting overall survival of cervical cancer patients. Bionformatic analyses of CNV and mRNA expression data in existing databases identified a six gene signature that could be used to stratify patients into high- and low-risk groups. Furthermore, the risk score exhibited a negative correlation with the immune score, determined by immune cell infiltration. Thus, these six genes may provide a novel prognostic signature for predicting cervical cancer, as well as new targets for drug discovery.
Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine, said “Li and colleagues have utilized copy number variant and mRNA data to identify a six-gene signature (C11orf80, FOXP3, GSN, HCCS, PGAM5, and RIBC2) to effectively predict prognosis of cervical cancer patients. This signature was more effective in predicting overall survival of cervical cancer patients than several previously published signatures of similar length. These are important studies towards the goal of lowering cervical cancer reoccurrence and death.”