April 24, 2023 – The combined signatures of the tumour microenvironment and nucleotide metabolism-related genes provide a prognostic and therapeutic biomarker for gastric cancer

Abstract: The tumour microenvironment (TME) is vital to tumour development and influences the immunotherapy response. Abnormal nucleotide metabolism (NM) not only promotes tumour cell proliferation but also inhibits immune responses in the TME. Therefore, this study aimed to determine whether the combined signatures of NM and the TME could better predict the prognosis and treatment response in gastric cancer (GC). 97 NM-related genes and 22 TME cells were evaluated in TCGA-STAD samples, and predictive NM and TME characteristics were determined. Subsequent correlation analysis and single-cell data analysis illustrated a link between NM scores and TME cells. Thereafter, NM and TME characteristics were combined to construct an NM-TME classifier. Patients in the NMlow/TMEhigh group exhibited better clinical outcomes and treatment responses, which could be attributed to the differences in immune cell infiltration, immune checkpoint genes, tumour somatic mutations, immunophenoscore, immunotherapy response rate and proteomap. Additionally, the NMhigh/TMElow group benefited more from Imatinib, Midostaurin and Linsitinib, while patients in the NMlow/TMEhigh group benefited more from Paclitaxel, Methotrexate and Camptothecin. Finally, a highly reliable nomogram was developed. In conclusion, the NM-TME classifier demonstrated a pretreatment predictive value for prognosis and therapeutic responses, which may offer novel strategies for strategizing patients with optimal therapies.

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