Transcriptomic analysis of the immune microenvironment of non-hematopoietic human tumors

Abstract : Tumors grow within a complex microenvironment composed of immune cells, fibroblasts, endothelial cells and other non-malignant cells. The study of the composition of tumor microenvironments has led to classifications with prognostic and theranostic values, as well as the discovery of treatments modulating the composition and the functional orientation of the microenvironment. Concurrently, molecular classifications of tumors have proposed taxonomies within cancers that define groups of patients with different prognoses and are associated with response to treatments. Recent evidence suggest that the phenotype of the malignant cell is a critical determinant in the shaping of its microenvironment, suggesting potential correlations between immune and molecular classifications. The goal of this PhD project was therefore to analyze the microenvironment of molecularly-classified human tumors. Colorectal cancer represents a paradigm for tumor immunology, as it is the humancancer in which it was exemplified that an adaptive immune response can control tumor Growth and metastasis. Conversely, clear-cell renal cell carcinoma represents an exception in tumor immunology, as an extensive adaptive immune response is associated with more aggressive diseases. Molecular transcriptomic classifications were recently proposed for both of these apparently immunologically contrasted cancers. In this work, I propose a methodology that enables the characterization of the tumor microenvironment using transcriptomic data, and apply it to describe the immune contexture of molecular subgroups of colorectal and clear-cell renal cell carcinomas. These analyses argue in favor of the unification of molecular and immune classifications of human cancers, challenge our current views of the relationship between the composition of the tumor microenvironment and patient’s prognosis, and suggest immunotherapeutic approaches that could benefit subgroups of patients in these two cancers.
Keywords : Immunology
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Theses
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Etienne Becht. Transcriptomic analysis of the immune microenvironment of non-hematopoietic human tumors. Immunology. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015USPCB005⟩. ⟨tel-01252426⟩

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