Authors: Simonaggio, Audrey; Epaillard, Nicolas; Pobel, Cédric; Moreira, Marco; Oudard, Stéphane; Vano, Yann-Alexandre
Issue: Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jan 10;13(2):231.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the seventh most frequently diagnosed malignancy with an increasing incidence in developed countries. Despite a greater understanding of the cancer biology, which has led to an increase of therapeutic options, metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (mccRCC) still have a poor prognosis with a median five-years survival rate lower than 10%. The standard of care for mccRCC has changed dramatically over the past decades with the emergence of new treatments: anti-VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, mTOR Inhibitors and immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) such as anti-Programmed cell-Death 1 (PD-1) and anti-anti-Programmed Death Ligand-1 (PD-L1) used as monotherapy or as a combination with anti CTLA-4 or anti angiogenic therapies. In the face of these rising therapeutic options, the question of the therapeutic sequences is crucial. Predictive biomarkers are urgently required to provide a personalized treatment for each patient. Disappointingly, the usual ICI biomarkers, PD-L1 expression and Tumor Mutational Burden, approved in melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have failed to distinguish good and poor mccRCC responders to ICI. The tumor microenvironment is known to be involved in ICI response. Innovative technologies can be used to explore the immune contexture of tumors and to find predictive and prognostic biomarkers. Recent comprehensive molecular characterization of RCC has led to the development of robust genomic signatures, which could be used as predictive biomarkers. This review will provide an overview of the components of the RCC tumor microenvironment and discuss their role in disease progression and resistance to ICI. We will then highlight the current and future ICI predictive biomarkers assessed in mccRCC with a major focus on immunohistochemistry markers and genomic signatures.