State of the Future: Translational Approaches in Renal Cell Carcinoma in the Immunotherapy Era
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The emergence of immune checkpoint inhibitors as treatment options for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has significantly improved outcomes for patients, but also posed new challenges for researchers. Only a subset of patients respond to these therapies, and some who initially respond ultimately develop therapeutic resistance. In this brief report, we review and discuss the importance of novel technological advances for immunotherapy translational research in RCC. In particular, we highlight the potential of single-cell sequencing methods and novel PD-L1 tracer-based imaging modalities for biomarker discovery, as well as ex vivo tumor spheroids for the creation of tumor "immunograms". PATIENT SUMMARY: Immunotherapy, which leverages a patient's immune system to target tumors, is effective for a substantial number of patients with metastatic kidney cancer. We review novel technologies that may help in understanding why some patients do not respond to these treatments, with the goals of eventually being able to identify which patients will respond to therapy and developing strategies to overcome therapeutic resistance.