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Prognostic significance of Lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG3) in patients with solid tumors: a systematic review, meta-analysis and pan-cancer analysis.

BACKGROUND: Lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG3) is a recently discovered immune checkpoint molecule that has been linked to immunosuppression and the advancement of cancer in different types of solid tumors. This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic importance of LAG3 and its role in the immune system within solid tumors.

METHODS: Extensive literature searches were conducted using the Pubmed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases to identify relevant studies exploring the effect of LAG3 on survival outcomes. Pooled hazard ratios (HRs) with its 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the prognostic values of LAG3. Afterwards, subgroup analysis and sensitivity analysis were conducted. Pan-cancer analysis investigated the possible relationships between LAG3 expression and genetic alterations, RNA methylation modification-related genes, genomic instability, immune checkpoint genes, and infiltration of immune cells.

RESULTS: A total of 43 studies with 7,118 patients were included in this analysis. Higher expression of LAG3 was associated with worse overall survival (HR = 1.10, 95% CI 1.01-1.19, P = 0.023), but not disease-free survival (HR = 1.41, 95% CI 0.96-2.07, P = 0.078), progression-free survival (HR = 1.12, 95% CI 0.90-1.39, P = 0.317) or recurrence-free survival (HR = 0.98, 95% CI 0.81-1.19, P = 0.871). Subgroup analysis showed that LAG3 might play different prognostic roles in different solid tumors. LAG3 expression was positively associated with immune cell infiltration and immune checkpoint genes in all of the cancers included. LAG3 expression was also found to be associated with microsatellite instability (MSI), copy number variation (CNV), simple nucleoside variation (SNV), tumor mutation burden (TMB), and neoantigen in various types of cancers.

CONCLUSIONS: Elevated expression of LAG3 is linked to poorer prognosis among patients diagnosed with solid cancers. LAG3 might play varying prognostic roles in different types of solid tumors. Given its substantial involvement in cancer immunity and tumorigenesis, LAG3 has garnered attention as a promising prognostic biomarker and a potential target for immunotherapy.

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