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posted on 16.02.2021, 14:27 authored by Yongfeng Wang, Ci Yin, Lele Geng, Weiyang Cai

The malignant phenotypes of cancer are defined not only by its intrinsic tumor cells but also by the tumor infiltrating immune cells (TIICs) recruited to the cancer microenvironment. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) immune microenvironment plays an important role in the tumorigenesis. This research investigated the characteristics of immune cell invasion of renal cell carcinoma and provided clues for future clinical implementation. Retrospectively, ccRCC gene expression was analyzed with appropriate clinicopathological data from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and GEO database up to December 2019. The CIBERSORT algorithm, meta-analysis, principal component analysis (PCA), Single-Sample Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (ssGSEA) and hierarchical agglomerative clustering were used to measure and evaluate the respective proportions of 22 cell types of immune infiltration using normalized gene expression data. We also focused on evaluating the association with TIICs subpopulations and clinical features and molecular subtypes. TIICs subpopulation, especially Macrophages subgroup, T follicular helper (Tfh) cells and CD8 T cells, all contribute to tumorigenesis. Unsupervised clustering analysis revealed that there existed two distinct TIICs subgroups with different survival patterns. TIICs are extensively involved in the pathogenesis and development of the ccRCC. Characterizing the composition of TIICs influences the metabolism of tumors, activity, level, stage, and survival of patients. Collectively, the TIIC analysis has the potential to assist in the assessment and selection of ccRCC prognosis and treatment.

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