Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a molecularly heterogeneous disease that accounts for approximately 25% of childhood leukemia cases. In this study, we aimed to identify survival-associated genes in pediatric AML patients and investigate potential immunotherapy targets.
Methods: After retrieving and processing the data from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) web resource, we determined hub genes in AML. Bioinformatics technology was applied to identify key genes and perform functional analysis. Finally, we investigated the correlation between the key gene and the infiltration levels of tumor-infiltrating immune cells.
Results: High protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor-type C (PTPRC) expression was associated with worse overall survival rate (p < 0.001) in 287 pediatric AML patients. The results of risk subgroup analyses were similar in the high-risk and low-risk groups (p = 0.007; p = 0.013). Meanwhile, high expression of PTPRC was an independent adverse prognostic factor for overall survival (p = 0.04). Moreover, the results of immune infiltration assessment demonstrated that the expression level of PTPRC was significantly correlated with the infiltration level of activated dendritic cells (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Overexpression of PTPRC indicates poor prognosis, and its expression level is correlated with the infiltration level of activated dendritic cells. PTPRC could be a promising immunotherapy target for pediatric AML.