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In Journal of pathology and translational medicine

Background : Patients with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer often undergo prophylactic gastrectomy to minimize cancer risk. Because intramucosal poorly cohesive carcinomas in this setting are typically not grossly visible, many pathologists assess the entire gastrectomy specimen microscopically. With 150 or more slides per case, this is a major time burden for pathologists. This study utilizes deep learning methods to analyze digitized slides and detect regions of carcinoma.

Materials and Methods : Prophylactic gastrectomy specimens from seven patients with germline CDH1 mutations were analyzed (five for training/validation and two for testing, with a total of 133 tumor foci). All hematoxylin and eosin slides containing cancer foci were digitally scanned, and patches of size 256×256 pixels were randomly extracted from regions of cancer as well as from regions of normal background tissue, resulting in 15,851 images for training/validation and 970 images for testing. A model with DenseNet-169 architecture was trained for 150 epochs, then evaluated on images from the test set. External validation was conducted on 814 images scanned at an outside institution.

Results : On individual patches, the trained model achieved a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) area under the curve (AUC) of 0.9986. This enabled it to maintain a sensitivity of 90% with a false-positive rate of less than 0.1%. On the external validation dataset, the model achieved a similar ROC AUC of 0.9984. On whole slide images, the network detected 100% of tumor foci and correctly eliminated an average of 99.9% of the non-cancer slide area from consideration.

Conclusion : Overall, our model shows encouraging progress towards computer-assisted diagnosis of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.

Rasmussen Sean A, Arnason Thomas, Huang Weei-Yuarn


Computer-assisted diagnosis, Deep learning, Machine learning, Pathology, Stomach neoplasms