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ORIGINAL ARTICLE   

Minerva Biotechnology and Biomolecular Research 2022 March;34(1):1-13

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-542X.21.02761-9

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Identification of key genes associated with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in the microenvironment

Hui XIE 1, Jian-Fang ZHANG 2, Kai-Hong XIE 3, Qing LI 1

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Affiliated Hospital (Clinical College) of Xiangnan University, Chenzhou, China; 2 Department of Physical Examination, Beihu Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chenzhou, China; 3 Department of Oncology, Affiliated Hospital (Clinical College) of Xiangnan University, Chenzhou, China



BACKGROUND: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is becoming more common, of which the overall survival rate is still low, and less than 50%. The rise of immunotherapy and the combined immunotherapy have brought significant benefits to patients with HNSCC. The aim of this study was to identify key genes related to HNSCC in the tumor microenvironment.
METHODS: The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA cbioportal) database and Estimation of STromal and Immune cells in Malignant Tumor tissues using Expression data (ESTIMATE) website were used to pick out key genes in the microenvironment of HNSCC. Gene ontology analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis were used to construct protein-protein interaction network.
RESULTS: One hundred thirty-six genes related to immune score and stromal score were picked out to be differently expressed in HNSCC. Finally, 50 hub genes were identified. The high expression of FOXP3, IL10RA, MPEG1 and SELL genes were associated with good overall survival of patients with HNSCC, and low expression of VSIG4 was related to good overall survival of patients with HNSCC.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggested that FOXP3, IL10RA, MPEG1, SELL and VSIG4 genes were significantly related to HNSCC. The role of the key genes in the immunotherapy and combined immunotherapy for patients with HNSCC needs further study.


KEY WORDS: Squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck; Tumor microenvironment; Genes

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