Novel genetic variants of KIR3DL2 and PVR involved in immunoregulatory interactions are associated with non-small cell lung cancer survival.


Immunoregulatory interactions play a pivotal role in immune surveillance, recognition, and killing, particularly its internal pathway, likely playing an important role in immune escape. By using two genotyping datasets, one from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer screening trial (n = 1,185) as the discovery, and the other from Harvard Lung Cancer Susceptibility (HLCS) study (n = 984) as the validation, we evaluated associations between 4,713 genetic variants (338 genotyped and 4,375 imputed) in 60 genes involved in immunoregulatory interactions and survival of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We found that 115 SNPs were significantly associated with NSCLC overall survival in the discovery, of which four remained significant after validation by the HLCS dataset after multiple test correction by Bayesian false discovery probability. Final combined analysis identified two independent SNPs (KIR3DL2 rs4487030 A>G and PVR rs35385129 C>A) that predicted NSCLC survival with a combined hazards ratio of 0.84 (95% confidence interval = 0.76-0.93, P = 0.001) and 0.84 (95% confidence interval = 0.73-0.97, P = 0.021), respectively. Besides, expression quantitative trait loci analyses showed that these two survival-associated SNPs of KRI3DL2 and PVR were significantly associated with their mRNA expression levels in both normal lung tissues and whole blood cells. Additional analyses suggested an oncogenic role for KRI3DL2 and a suppressor role for PVR on the survival. Once further validated, genetic variants of KIR3DL2 and PVR may be potential prognostic markers for NSCLC survival.







Sheng Luo

Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Carolyn Glass

Associate Professor of Pathology

Cardiothoracic Pathologist and Physician-Scientist
Division Chief, Cardiovascular Pathology 
Co-Director, Division of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Pathology
Associate Director, Residency Program  
Director, Duke University Hospital Autopsy Service 

Dr. Glass completed medical residency in Anatomic Pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School followed by fellowships in Cardiothoracic Pathology also at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Pulmonary/Cardiac Transplant Pathology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Glass initially trained as a vascular surgeon with a focus on endovascular/interventional procedures through the 0+5 Integrated Vascular Surgery Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center from 2007-2011.  As a recipient of the NIH National Lung Blood Institute T32 Ruth Kirschstein National Service Research Award, she completed a Ph.D with a concentration in Genomics and Epigenetics in 2014.

Dr. Glass was awarded a five-year $3.2 million NIH grant to serve as P.I. of the Pathology Core as part of a larger U54 NIH grant ($13.5 million along with Duke Department of Medicine) to establish a Senescent Cell Human Tissue Mapping Center as part of the NIH Cellular Senescence Network. As a thoracic pathologist, Dr. Glass also has a special interest in identifying new epigenetic biomarkers that may predict response or resistance to conventional, targeted and immune therapy using computational techniques. She works closely with the Duke Thoracic Oncology Group, DCI Center for Cancer Immunotherapy, Duke Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiothoracic Surgery and Pratt School of Biomedical Engineering. 

Dr. Glass is the recipient of the Society of Cardiovascular Pathology (SCVP) Young Investigator’s Award, the William von Liebig Vascular Biology Research Fellowship at the Harvard Institutes of Medicine, the Duke Pathology Salvatore V. Pizzo Faculty Research Mentor Award, the Duke Department of Pathology Early Career Research Achievement Award and is author of over 90 publications (including book chapters in the recent W.H.O. Classification Tumours of the Lung, Pleura, Thymus and Heart) and 50 national presentations in cardiovascular disease, thoracic malignancies, surgery and machine learning. 

In addition to her clinical and research activities, Dr. Glass serves on the Executive/National Committees for the Society of Cardiovascular Pathology, College of American Pathology Artificial Intelligence Committee and the Duke School of Medicine Executive Admissions Committee. 


Qingyi Wei

Professor Emeritus in Population Health Sciences

Qingyi Wei, MD, PhD, Professor in the Department of Medicine, is Associate Director for Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Co-leader of CCPS and Co-leader of Epidemiology and Population Genomics (Focus Area 1). He is a professor of Medicine and an internationally recognized epidemiologist focused on the molecular and genetic epidemiology of head and neck cancers, lung cancer, and melanoma. His research focuses on biomarkers and genetic determinants for the DNA repair deficient phenotype and variations in cell death. He is Editor-in-Chief of the open access journal "Cancer Medicine" and Associate Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics.

Area of Expertise: Epidemiology

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