Aim: The knowledge of the immune context of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is useful to predict benefit from immunotherapy. We retrospectively characterized the immune context of RCC patients underwent primary nephrectomy and pulmonary metastasectomy. Materials & methods: Intratumoral infiltrating lymphocytes and peritumoral renal infiltrating lymphocytes, lymphocyte subpopulations (CD4+, CD8+), PD-1, PD-L1 were explored in paired samples of primary RCC (T) and respective pulmonary metastases (M). Results: The immune variables demonstrated intralesional and intratumoral heterogeneity. Intralesional lymphocyte heterogeneity reached 76% of cases in T, 28% in M. The heterogeneity rate for PD-L1 expression was from 44% (T) to 56% (M); it correlated with better survival. Conclusion: The immune context of RCC is highly variable both within a given tumor and among primary and metastases.
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