Short Communication| Volume 254, P58-64, June 2021

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The prognostic significance of FOXC2 gene expression in cancer: A comprehensive analysis of RNA-seq data from the cancer genome atlas


      • In multiple cancer types, high FOXC2 gene expression in primary tumor biopsies is a poor prognostic factor for patient survival.
      • FOXC2 gene expression levels in primary tumors predict cancer patient response to various widely used chemotherapeutic agents.
      • For particular cancer types, the magnitude of FOXC2 gene expression in primary tumors has the potential to serve as an RNA-level biomarker that may improve patient stratification along appropriate treatment regimens.


      The FOXC2 transcription factor is a key regulator of tumor progression in many cancer types. Known to exhibit an array of oncogenic functions when dysregulated, FOXC2 has emerged as a useful biomarker for predicting disease aggression and patient outcome. In this regard, increased expression and nuclear localization of FOXC2 protein in tumor tissue have become well-established as poor prognostic factors for many cancer types. However, whether FOXC2 gene expression can serve as a similarly useful RNA-level biomarker has remained largely unexplored. Therefore, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of TCGA RNA-seq data to evaluate whether FOXC2 gene expression levels in primary tumor biopsies correlate with patient outcome. We report herein that increased expression of FOXC2 RNA in tumor tissue is a poor prognostic factor for patient survival in many cancer types. Moreover, we also found that FOXC2 gene expression predicts cancer patient response to several commonly prescribed chemotherapeutics. Together, these data highlight FOXC2 RNA expression in tumor tissue as an important biomarker with prognostic significance for solid tumors of diverse origin.


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