Association Between FSIP2 Mutation and an Improved Efficacy of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Patients With Skin Cutaneous Melanoma

Front Mol Biosci. 2021 May 24;8:629330. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2021.629330. eCollection 2021.


Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have shown remarkable success in treating skin cutaneous melanoma (SKCM); however, the response to treatment varies greatly between patients. Considering that the efficacy of ICI treatment is influenced by many factors, we selected the Fibrosheath interacting protein 2 (FSIP2) gene and systematically analyzed its potential to predict the efficacy of ICI treatment.

Methods: Patient data were collected from an ICI treatment cohort (n = 120) and a The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)-SKCM cohort (n = 467). The data were divided into an FSIP2-mutant (MT) group and FSIP2-wild-type (WT) group according to FSIP2 mutation status. In this study, we analyzed the patients' overall survival rate, tumor mutational burden (TMB), neoantigen load (NAL), copy number variation (CNV), cell infiltration data and immune-related genes. We used gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) to delineate biological pathways and processes associated with the efficacy of immunotherapy.

Results: The efficacy of ICI treatment of SKCM patients with FSIP2 mutation was significantly better than that of patients without FSIP2 mutation. The patients in the FSIP2-MT group had higher tumor immunogenicity and lower regulatory T cell (Treg) infiltration. Results of GSEA showed that pathways related to tumor progression (MAPK and FGFR), immunomodulation, and IL-2 synthesis inhibition were significantly downregulated in the FSIP2-MT group.

Conclusion: Our research suggests that the FSIP2 gene has the potential to predict the efficacy of ICI treatment. The high tumor immunogenicity and low Treg levels observed may be closely related to the fact that patients with FSIP2-MT can benefit from ICI treatment.

Keywords: Fibrosheath interacting protein 2; immune checkpoint inhibitor; regulatory T cell; skin cutaneous melanoma; tumor mutation burden.