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A network-based signature to predict the survival of non-smoking lung adenocarcinoma

Authors Mao Q, Zhang L, Zhang Y, Dong G, Yang Y, Xia W, Chen B, Ma W, Hu J, Jiang F, Xu L

Received 27 January 2018

Accepted for publication 26 May 2018

Published 16 August 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 2683—2693


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Harikrishna Nakshatri

Qixing Mao,1–4,* Louqian Zhang,1–3,* Yi Zhang,1,* Gaochao Dong,1,3 Yao Yang,4 Wenjie Xia,1–4 Bing Chen,1–3 Weidong Ma,1–3 Jianzhong Hu,4 Feng Jiang,1,3 Lin Xu1,3

1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital, Jiangsu Institute of Cancer Research, Nanjing Medical University Affiliated Cancer Hospital, Nanjing, China; 2The Fourth Clinical College of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China; 3Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular and Translational Cancer Research, Nanjing Medical University Affiliated Cancer Hospital, Cancer Institute of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing, China; 4Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: A substantial increase in the number of non-smoking lung adenocarcinoma (LAC) patients has been drawing extensive attention in the past decade. However, effective biomarkers, which could guide the precise treatment, are still limited for identifying high-risk patients. Here, we provide a network-based signature to predict the survival of non-smoking LAC.
Materials and methods: Gene expression profiles were downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas and Gene Expression Omnibus. Significant gene co-expression networks and hub genes were identified by Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis. Potential mechanisms and pathways of co-expression networks were analyzed by Gene Ontology. The predictive signature was constructed by penalized Cox regression analysis and tested in two independent datasets.
Results: Two distinct co-expression modules were significantly correlated with the non-smoking status across 4 Gene Expression Omnibus datasets. Gene Ontology revealed that nuclear division and cell cycle pathways were main mechanisms of the blue module and that genes in the turquoise module were involved in lymphocyte activation and cell adhesion pathways. Seventeen genes were selected from hub genes at an optimal lambda value and built the prognostic signature. The prognostic signature distinguished the survival of non-smoking LAC (training: hazard ratio [HR]=3.696, 95% CI: 2.025–6.748, P<0.001; testing: HR=2.9, 95% CI: 1.322–6.789, P=0.006; HR=2.78, 95% CI: 1.658–6.654, P=0.022) and had moderate predictive abilities in the training and validation datasets.
Conclusion: The prognostic signature is a promising predictor of non-smoking LAC patients, which might benefit clinical practice and precision therapeutic management.

Keywords: weighted gene co-expression network analysis, WGCNA, lung adenocarcinoma, LAC, co-expressing, prognostic signature

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