Three publicly available data sets (GSE14333GSE17536, and GSE17537) were obtained from the GEO. These data sets contain gene expression data and disease-free survival information from 232 primary CRC patients. Based on the expression patterns of IL11, a combination of IL11/IL24/IL13A2/TNFRSF11B, or IL11FS, we classified patients into two respective clusters using the hierarchical clustering method. The recurrence-free duration of each group was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method. Statistical significance was analyzed by Mantel-Cox log-rank test. The hierarchical cluster analysis was performed using Ward’s method and Euclidean distance as a measure of similarity. All data analysis and visualization of differentially expressed genes was conducted using R 4.0.2 (www.r-project.org). Statical analyses were conducted with the following packages: MASS 7.3.51.4, stats 3.6.1, ggplot2 3.2.1 and BiocManager 1.30.10.

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