Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is speculated to harbor complex genomic intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) associated with high recurrence rate and suboptimal response to immunotherapy. Here, using multi-region whole exome/T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing as well as immunohistochemistry, we reveal a rather homogeneous mutational landscape but extremely cold and heterogeneous TCR repertoire in limited-stage SCLC tumors (LS-SCLCs). Compared to localized non-small cell lung cancers, LS-SCLCs have similar predicted neoantigen burden and genomic ITH, but significantly colder and more heterogeneous TCR repertoire associated with higher chromosomal copy number aberration (CNA) burden. Furthermore, copy number loss of IFN-γ pathway genes is frequently observed and positively correlates with CNA burden. Higher mutational burden, higher T cell infiltration and positive PD-L1 expression are associated with longer overall survival (OS), while higher CNA burden is associated with shorter OS in patients with LS-SCLC.
© 2021. The Author(s).