Development and validation of a 6-gene signature for the prognosis of loco-regional control in patients with HPV-negative locally advanced HNSCC treated by postoperative radio(chemo)therapy

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


  • Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Universität Duisburg-Essen
  • Goethe University Frankfurt
  • Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
  • OncoRay - National Centre for Radiation Research in Oncology
  • Universitätsklinikum Gießen und Marburg GmbH
  • Universitätsklinikum Tübingen


PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to develop and validate a novel gene signature from full-transcriptome data using machine-learning approaches to predict loco-regional control (LRC) of patients with human papilloma virus (HPV)-negative locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), who received postoperative radio(chemo)therapy (PORT-C).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Gene expression analysis was performed using Affymetrix GeneChip Human Transcriptome Array 2.0 on a multicentre retrospective training cohort of 128 patients and an independent validation cohort of 114 patients from the German Cancer Consortium - Radiation Oncology Group (DKTK-ROG). Genes were filtered based on differential gene expression analyses and Cox regression. The identified gene signature was combined with clinical parameters and with previously identified genes related to stem cells and hypoxia. Technical validation was performed using nanoString technology.

RESULTS: We identified a 6-gene signature consisting of four individual genes CAV1, GPX8, IGLV3-25, TGFBI, and one metagene combining the highly correlated genes INHBA and SERPINE1. This signature was prognostic for LRC on the training data (ci=0.84) and in validation (ci=0.63) with a significant patient stratification into two risk groups (p=0.005). Combining the 6-gene signature with the clinical parameters T stage and tumour localisation as well as the stem-cell marker CD44 and the 15-gene hypoxia-associated signature improved the validation performance (ci=0.69, p=0.001).

CONCLUSION: We have developed and validated a novel prognostic 6-gene signature for LRC of HNSCC patients with HPV-negative tumours treated by PORT-C. After successful prospective validation the signature can be part of clinical trials on the individualization of radiotherapy.


Seiten (von - bis)91-100
FachzeitschriftRadiotherapy and Oncology
Frühes Online-Datum13 Apr. 2022
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Juni 2022

Externe IDs

Scopus 85129269859
WOS 000808077200001
Mendeley 6db790c2-6527-31b7-a4b4-15d7be4ec04e
unpaywall 10.1016/j.radonc.2022.04.006
ORCID /0000-0002-7017-3738/work/142254019


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  • Biomarkers, Tumor/metabolism, Chemoradiotherapy, Adjuvant/methods, Chemoradiotherapy/methods, Gene Expression Profiling, Head and Neck Neoplasms/etiology, Humans, Hypoxia, Machine Learning, Papillomavirus Infections/complications, Peroxidases, Prognosis, Retrospective Studies, Risk Assessment, Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck/etiology, Surgical Procedures, Operative, Postoperative radiotherapy, Gene signature, Machine learning, Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, Cancer stem cells