Comprehensive characterisation of immunogenic cell death in melanoma revealing the association with prognosis and tumor immune microenvironment

Front Immunol. 2022 Sep 23:13:998653. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.998653. eCollection 2022.


Increasing evidence has highlighted the critical functions of immunogenic cell death (ICD) within many tumors. However, the therapeutic possibilities and mechanism of utilizing ICD in melanoma are still not well investigated. Melanoma samples involved in our study were acquired from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) databases. First, pan-cancer analysis of ICD systematically revealed its expression characteristics, prognostic values, mutation information, methylation level, pathway regulation relationship in multiple human cancers. The non-negative matrix factorization clustering was utilized to separate the TCGA-melanoma samples into two subtypes (i.e. C1 and C2) with different prognosis and immune microenvironment based on the expression traits of ICD. Then, LASSO-Cox regression analysis was utilized to determine an ICD-dependent risk signature (ICDRS) based on the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between the two subtypes. Principal component analysis and t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding analysis of ICDRS showed that high- and low-risk subpopulations could be clearly distinguished. Survival analysis and ROC curves in the training, internal validation, and external validation cohorts highlighted the accurate prognosis evaluation of ICDRS. The obvious discrepancies of immune microenvironment between the different risk populations might be responsible for the different prognoses of patients with melanoma. These findings revealed the close association of ICD with prognosis and tumor immune microenvironment. More importantly, ICDRS-based immunotherapy response and targeted drug prediction might be beneficial to different risk subpopulations of patients with melanoma. The innotative ICDRS could function as a marker to determine the prognosis and tumor immune microenvironment in melanoma. This will aid in patient classification for individualized melanoma treatment.

Keywords: immunogenic cell death; melanoma; pan-cancer analysis; prognosis; tumor immune microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Immunogenic Cell Death*
  • Melanoma* / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Tumor Microenvironment