Establishment and validation of a prognostic nomogram for patients with renal cell carcinoma based on SEER and TCGA database

Transl Cancer Res. 2023 Jun 30;12(6):1411-1421. doi: 10.21037/tcr-22-2692. Epub 2023 Jun 9.


Background: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a lethal urological malignancy. Precise risk-stratification is very important for decision-making in postoperative patient management. This study aimed to establish and validate a prognostic nomogram of overall survival (OS) in patients with RCC based on Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) and TCGA database.

Methods: The retrospective data of 40,154 patients diagnosed with RCC during 2010 to 2015 from SEER database (development cohort) and 1,188 patients from TCGA database (validation cohort) were downloaded for analysis. Independent prognostic factors were identified by univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses and adopted to set up a predictive nomogram of OS. The discrimination and calibration of the nomogram were evaluated by ROC curves, C-index values, and calibration plots, and survival analyses were conducted using Kaplan-Meier curves and long-rank tests.

Results: The results of multivariate Cox regression analysis demonstrated that age, sex, tumor grade, the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage, tumor size, and pathological types were independent predictors of the OS of RCC patients. These variables were integrated to construct the nomogram, and verification was conducted subsequently. The area under the ROC curve values of 3- and 5-year survival were 0.785 and 0.769 in the development cohort and 0.786 and 0.763 in the validation cohort. The C-index was 0.746 (95% CI: 0.740-0.752) in the development cohort and 0.763 (95% CI: 0.738-0.788) in the validation cohort, indicating good performance of the nomogram. Calibration curve analysis also suggested supreme accuracy on prediction. Finally, patients in the development and validation cohorts were stratified into three risk-level groups (high, intermediate, and low) based on the risk scores calculated by the nomogram, and significant differences in OS were observed among these three groups.

Conclusions: In this study, a prognostic nomogram was established to provide tool for clinicians to better advise RCC patients, determine the follow-up strategies and to select suitable patients for clinical trials.

Keywords: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC); Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database; The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database; nomogram; overall survival (OS).