A 3-Protein Expression Signature of Neuroblastoma for Outcome Prediction

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Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid tumor in children with contrasting outcomes. Precise risk assessment contributes to prognosis prediction, which is critical for treatment strategy decisions. In this study, we developed a 3-protein predictor model, including the neural stem cell marker Msi1, neural differentiation marker ID1, and proliferation marker proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), to improve clinical risk assessment of patients with NB. Kaplan-Meier analysis in the microarray data (GSE16476) revealed that low expression of ID1 and high expression of Msi1 and PCNA were associated with poor prognosis in NB patients. Combined application of these 3 markers to constitute a signature further stratified NB patients into different risk subgroups can help obtain more accurate prediction performance. Survival prognostic power of age and Msi1_ID1_PCNA signature by receiver operating characteristics analysis showed that this signature predicted more effectively and sensitively compared with classic risk stratification system, compensating for the deficiency of the prediction function of the age. Furthermore, we validated the expressions of these 3 proteins in neuroblastic tumor spectrum tissues by immunohistochemistry revealed that Msi1 and PCNA exhibited increased expression in NB compared with intermedial ganglioneuroblastoma and benign ganglioneuroma, whereas ID1 levels were reduced in NB. In conclusion, we established a robust risk assessment predictor model based on simple immunohistochemistry for therapeutic decisions of NB patients.

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