This article was originally published here
Neoplasia. 2021 Sep 20;23(10):1059-1068. doi: 10.1016/j.neo.2021.08.004. Online ahead of print.
Interferon (IFN) therapy has been the standard of care for a variety of cancers for decades due to the pleiotropic actions of IFNs against malignancies. However, little is known about the role of copy number alteration (CNA) of the IFN gene cluster, located at the 9p21.3, in cancer. This large individual patient data meta-analysis using 9937 patients obtained from cBioportal indicates that CNA of the IFN gene cluster is prevalent among 24 cancer types. Two statistical approaches showed that notably deletion of this cluster is significantly associated with increased mortality in many cancer types particularly uterus (OR = 2.71), kidney (OR = 2.26), and brain (OR = 2.08) cancers. The Cancer Genome Atlas PanCancer analysis also showed that CNA of the IFN gene cluster is significantly associated with decreased overall survival. For instance, the overall survival of patients with brain glioma reduced from 93m (diploidy) to 24m (with the CNA of the IFN gene). In conclusion, the CNA of the IFN gene cluster is associated with increased mortality and decreased overall survival in cancer. Thus, in the prospect of immunotherapy, CNA of IFN gene may be a useful biomarker to predict the prognosis of patients and also as a potential companion diagnostic test to prescribe IFN α/β therapy.