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In Scientific reports ; h5-index 158.0

Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms including deep learning have recently demonstrated remarkable progress in image-recognition tasks. Here, we utilized AI for monitoring the expression of underglycosylated mucin 1 (uMUC1) tumor antigen, a biomarker for ovarian cancer progression and response to therapy, using contrast-enhanced in vivo imaging. This was done using a dual-modal (magnetic resonance and near infrared optical imaging) uMUC1-specific probe (termed MN-EPPT) consisted of iron-oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MN) conjugated to a uMUC1-specific peptide (EPPT) and labeled with a near-infrared fluorescent dye, Cy5.5. In vitro studies performed in uMUC1-expressing human ovarian cancer cell line SKOV3/Luc and control uMUC1low ES-2 cells showed preferential uptake on the probe by the high expressor (n = 3, p < .05). A decrease in MN-EPPT uptake by SKOV3/Luc cells in vitro due to uMUC1 downregulation after docetaxel therapy was paralleled by in vivo imaging studies that showed a reduction in probe accumulation in the docetaxel treated group (n = 5, p < .05). The imaging data were analyzed using deep learning-enabled segmentation and quantification of the tumor region of interest (ROI) from raw input MRI sequences by applying AI algorithms including a blend of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and Fully Connected Neural Networks. We believe that the algorithms used in this study have the potential to improve studying and monitoring cancer progression, amongst other diseases.

Zhao Hongwei, Hayat Hasaan, Ma Xiaohong, Fan Daguang, Wang Ping, Moore Anna