A Novel Two-Gene Expression-Based Prognostic Score in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Diagnostics 2023 April 26 [Link]

Velizar Shivarov, Georgi Blazhev, Angel Yordanov


Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare cancer type with an increasing incidence worldwide. We aimed to develop a rational gene expression-based prognostic score in MPM using publicly available datasets.

Methods: We developed and validated a two-gene prognostic score (2-PS) using three independent publicly available gene expression datasets. The 2-PS was built using the Robust Likelihood-Based Survival Modeling with Microarray Data method.

Results: We narrowed down the model building to the analysis of 179 genes, which have been shown previously to be of importance to MPM development. Our statistical approach showed that a model including two genes (GOLT1B and MAD2L1) was the best predictor for overall survival (OS) (p < 0.0001). The binary score based on the median of the continuous score stratified the patients into low and high score groups and also showed statistical significance in uni- and multivariate models. The 2-PS was validated using two independent transcriptomic datasets. Furthermore, gene set enrichment analysis using training and validation datasets showed that high score patients had distinct gene expression profiles. Our 2-PS also showed a correlation with the estimated infiltration by some immune cell fractions such as CD8+ T cells and M1/2 macrophages. Finally, 2-PS correlated with sensitivity or resistance to some commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs.

Conclusion: This is the first study to demonstrate good performance of only two-gene expression-based prognostic scores in MPM. Our initial approach for features selection allowed for an increased likelihood for the predictive value of the developed score, which we were also able to demonstrate.