FAM family gene prediction model reveals heterogeneity, stemness and immune microenvironment of UCEC

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Background: Endometrial cancer (UCEC) is a highly heterogeneous gynecologic malignancy that exhibits variable prognostic outcomes and responses to immunotherapy. The Familial sequence similarity (FAM) gene family is known to contribute to the pathogenesis of various malignancies, but the extent of their involvement in UCEC has not been systematically studied. This investigation aimed to develop a robust risk profile based on FAM family genes (FFGs) to predict the prognosis and suitability for immunotherapy in UCEC patients. Methods: Using the TCGA-UCEC cohort from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database, we obtained expression profiles of FFGs from 552 UCEC and 35 normal samples, and analyzed the expression patterns and prognostic relevance of 363 FAM family genes. The UCEC samples were randomly divided into training and test sets (1:1), and univariate Cox regression analysis and Lasso Cox regression analysis were conducted to identify the differentially expressed genes (FAM13C, FAM110B, and FAM72A) that were significantly associated with prognosis. A prognostic risk scoring system was constructed based on these three gene characteristics using multivariate Cox proportional risk regression. The clinical potential and immune status of FFGs were analyzed using CiberSort, SSGSEA, and tumor immune dysfunction and rejection (TIDE) algorithms. qRT-PCR and IHC for detecting the expression levels of 3-FFGs. Results: Three FFGs, namely, FAM13C, FAM110B, and FAM72A, were identified as strongly associated with the prognosis of UCEC and effective predictors of UCEC prognosis. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the developed model was an independent predictor of UCEC, and that patients in the low-risk group had better overall survival than those in the high-risk group. The nomogram constructed from clinical characteristics and risk scores exhibited good prognostic power. Patients in the low-risk group exhibited a higher tumor mutational load (TMB) and were more likely to benefit from immunotherapy. Conclusion: This study successfully developed and validated novel biomarkers based on FFGs for predicting the prognosis and immune status of UCEC patients. The identified FFGs can accurately assess the prognosis of UCEC patients and facilitate the identification of specific subgroups of patients who may benefit from personalized treatment with immunotherapy and chemotherapy.