Many driver pathways for cancer cell proliferation have been reported. Driver pathway activation is often evaluated based on a single hotspot mutation such as EGFR L858R. However, because of complex intratumoral networks, the impact of a driver pathway cannot be predicted based on only a single gene mutation. Here, we developed a novel diagnostic system named the “EGFR impact score” which is based on multiplex mRNA expression profiles, which can predict the impact of the EGFR pathway in lung cancer cells and the effect of EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors on malignancy. The EGFR impact score indicated robust predictive power for the prognosis of early-stage lung cancer because this score can evaluate the impact of the EGFR pathway on the tumor and genomic instability. Additionally, the molecular features of the poor prognostic group resembled those of biomarkers associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. The EGFR impact score is a novel prognostic and therapeutic indicator for lung adenocarcinoma.
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