Integrated multi-omics profiling yields a clinically relevant molecular classification for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Cancer Cell. 2023 Jan 9;41(1):181-195.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2022.12.004. Epub 2022 Dec 29.


Integrated molecular analysis of human cancer has yielded molecular classification for precise management of cancer patients. Here, we analyzed the whole genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data of 155 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs). Multi-omics analysis led to the classification of ESCCs into four subtypes: cell cycle pathway activation, NRF2 oncogenic activation, immune suppression (IS), and immune modulation (IM). IS and IM cases were highly immune infiltrated but differed in the type and distribution of immune cells. IM cases showed better response to immune checkpoint blockade therapy than other subtypes in a clinical trial. We further developed a classifier with 28 features to identify the IM subtype, which predicted anti-PD-1 therapy response with 85.7% sensitivity and 90% specificity. These results emphasize the clinical value of unbiased molecular classification based on multi-omics data and have the potential to further improve the understanding and treatment of ESCC.

Keywords: CDK4/6 inhibitor; ESCC; NRF2; WGBS; anti-PD-1 therapy; molecular subtyping; multi-omics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / genetics
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma* / genetics
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Multiomics
  • Proteomics