Four categories of somatic mutation data of HCC samples were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) portal. The mutation files obtained through the “varscan variant aggregation and masking” platform was singled out for subsequent analysis. The Mutation Annotation Format (MAF) of somatic variants was prepared within the “maftools” [25] R package. Furthermore, gene expression profiling for HCC sample compared with normal tissues were obtained from TCGA-LIHC project. The corresponding clinical data were also obtained from the TCGA portal as descripted previously. The corresponding expression profiling information and the clinical data were downloaded from the ICGC ( The detailed clinical data of HCC patients from TCGA-LIHC and ICGC-LIRI-JP were recorded in Additional file 1: Table S1. There was no necessity to obtain Ethics Committee approval since all information were publicly available and open-access. The analysis process flow chart was presented in Additional file 2: Figure S1.

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