Development and validation of a three-immune-related gene signature prognostic risk model in papillary thyroid carcinoma



Increasing evidence indicates that there is a correlation between papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) prognosis and the immune signature. Our goal was to construct a new prognostic tool based on immune genes to achieve more accurate prognosis predictions and earlier diagnoses of PTC.


The 493 PTCs samples and 58 tumor-adjacent normal tissues were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas database (TCGA). Immune genes were obtained from the ImmPort database. First, this cohort was randomly divided into training cohort and testing cohort. Second, the differentially expressed (DE) immune genes from the training set were used to construct the prognostic model. Then, the testing and entire data cohorts were used to validate the model, and the data were analyzed to determine the correlation of the clinical prognostic model with immune cell infiltration and expression profiles of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes. Finally, an analysis of the gene ontology (GO) annotation was performed.


A total of 189 upregulated and 128 downregulated DE immune genes were identified. We developed and validated a three-immune gene model for PTC that includes Hsp70, NOX5, and FGF23. This model was demonstrated to be an independent prognostic variable. In addition, the overall immune activity of the high-risk group was higher than that of the low-risk group.


We developed and validated a three-immune gene model for PTC that includes HSPA1A, NOX5, and FGF23. This model can be used as a validated tool to predict outcomes in PTC.

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Papillary thyroid carcinoma


The Cancer Genome Atlas database


Human leukocyte antigen


Gene ontology


Thyroid cancer


Immune-related gene signature


Differentially expressed


Transcription factors


The Gene set enrichment analysis


Kaplan–Meier analyses


Receiver-operating characteristic


Area under the ROC curve


Tumor microenvironment


Overall survival


Heat shock protein family A (Hsp70) member 1A


NADPH oxidase 5


Fibroblast growth factor 23


Tumor immune microenvironment


Dendritic cells


Tumor-associated macrophages


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Thanks to Professor Bo Xu for this design.


This research was supported by Guangzhou medicine and healthcare technology projects (20141A011011, 20151A011007, and 20161A011008).

Author information




Conception: XG and BX. Design and revise the manuscript: XG, JF, and FS. Analysis and interpretation of data: XG, FS, JF, WC, ZC, MG, and YL.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to B. Xu.

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The authors reported no proprietary or commercial interest in any product mentioned or concept discussed in this article.

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All data of the study were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database and have obtained ethical approval.

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Gan, X., Guo, M., Chen, Z. et al. Development and validation of a three-immune-related gene signature prognostic risk model in papillary thyroid carcinoma. J Endocrinol Invest (2021).

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  • Immune gene
  • Prognosis
  • Risk model
  • Papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • TCGA