Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is an aggressive tumor whose prognosis has little improvement in the last three decades. Various immune-related genes have been suggested as significant roles in the development and progression of malignant cancers. In this study, we acquired and integrated differentially expressed genes of OSCC patients, including immune-related genes and transcription factors (TFs), from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. TF-mediated network was established to exploring the regulatory mechanisms of prognostic immune-related genes. A 7 immune-related genes prognostic model for OSCC was obtained, including CGB8, CTLA4, TNFRSF19, CCL26, NRG1, TPM2 and PLAU, which was further proved to be an independent prognostic indicator after adjusting for other clinical factors. The immune-related genes prognostic index was significantly negatively correlated to the infiltration abundances of B cells (P < 0.05) and CD8+ T cells (P < 0.05). The novel proposed immune-based prognostic model not only provided a promising biomarker and a way to monitor the long-term treatment of OSCC, but also gave a new insight into a potential immunotherapy strategy.
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