Single-cell spatial landscapes of the lung tumour immune microenvironment

Nature. 2023 Feb;614(7948):548-554. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05672-3. Epub 2023 Feb 1.


Single-cell technologies have revealed the complexity of the tumour immune microenvironment with unparalleled resolution1-9. Most clinical strategies rely on histopathological stratification of tumour subtypes, yet the spatial context of single-cell phenotypes within these stratified subgroups is poorly understood. Here we apply imaging mass cytometry to characterize the tumour and immunological landscape of samples from 416 patients with lung adenocarcinoma across five histological patterns. We resolve more than 1.6 million cells, enabling spatial analysis of immune lineages and activation states with distinct clinical correlates, including survival. Using deep learning, we can predict with high accuracy those patients who will progress after surgery using a single 1-mm2 tumour core, which could be informative for clinical management following surgical resection. Our dataset represents a valuable resource for the non-small cell lung cancer research community and exemplifies the utility of spatial resolution within single-cell analyses. This study also highlights how artificial intelligence can improve our understanding of microenvironmental features that underlie cancer progression and may influence future clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung* / diagnosis
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung* / immunology
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung* / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung* / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery
  • Deep Learning
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung / surgery
  • Lung Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms* / immunology
  • Lung Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Single-Cell Analysis*
  • Tumor Microenvironment* / immunology