Distinct tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte landscapes are associated with clinical outcomes in localized non-small-cell lung cancer

Lorenzo Federico, Daniel James McGrail, S. E. Bentebibel, C. Haymaker, A. Ravelli, M. A. Forget, T. Karpinets, P. Jiang, A. Reuben, M. V. Negrao, J. Li, R. Khairullah, J. Zhang, A. Weissferdt, A. A. Vaporciyan, M. B. Antonoff, G. Walsh, S. Y. Lin, A. Futreal, I. WistubaJ. Roth, L. A. Byers, P. O. Gaudreau, N. Uraoka, A. F. Cruz, H. Dejima, R. N. Lazcano, L. M. Solis, E. R. Parra, J. J. Lee, S. Swisher, T. Cascone, J. V. Heymach, B. Sepesi, D. L. Gibbons, Chantale Bernatchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Despite the importance of tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes (TILs) in cancer biology, the relationship between TIL phenotypes and their prognostic relevance for localized non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has not been well established. Patients and methods: Fresh tumor and normal adjacent tissue was prospectively collected from 150 patients with localized NSCLC. Tissue was comprehensively characterized by high-dimensional flow cytometry of TILs integrated with immunogenomic data from multiplex immunofluorescence, T-cell receptor sequencing, exome sequencing, RNA sequencing, targeted proteomics, and clinicopathologic features. Results: While neither the magnitude of TIL infiltration nor specific TIL subsets were significantly prognostic alone, the integration of high-dimensional flow cytometry data identified two major immunotypes (IM1 and IM2) that were predictive of recurrence-free survival independent of clinical characteristics. IM2 was associated with poor prognosis and characterized by the presence of proliferating TILs expressing cluster of differentiation 103, programmed cell death protein 1, T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain containing protein 3, and inducible T-cell costimulator. Conversely, IM1 was associated with good prognosis and differentiated by an abundance of CD8+ T cells expressing cytolytic enzymes, CD4+ T cells lacking the expression of inhibitory receptors, and increased levels of B-cell infiltrates and tertiary lymphoid structures. While increased B-cell infiltration was associated with good prognosis, the best prognosis was observed in patients with tumors exhibiting high levels of both B cells and T cells. These findings were validated in patient tumors from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Conclusions: Our study suggests that although the number of infiltrating T cells is not associated with patient survival, the nature of the infiltrating T cells, resolved in distinct TIL immunotypes, is prognostically relevant in NSCLC and may inform therapeutic approaches to clinical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-56
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • T cells
  • biomarkers
  • immune system
  • lung cancer
  • microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Distinct tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte landscapes are associated with clinical outcomes in localized non-small-cell lung cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this