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In Gastric cancer : official journal of the International Gastric Cancer Association and the Japanese Gastric Cancer Association

BACKGROUND : Computational pathology uses deep learning (DL) to extract biomarkers from routine pathology slides. Large multicentric datasets improve performance, but such datasets are scarce for gastric cancer. This limitation could be overcome by Swarm Learning (SL).

METHODS : Here, we report the results of a multicentric retrospective study of SL for prediction of molecular biomarkers in gastric cancer. We collected tissue samples with known microsatellite instability (MSI) and Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) status from four patient cohorts from Switzerland, Germany, the UK and the USA, storing each dataset on a physically separate computer.

RESULTS : On an external validation cohort, the SL-based classifier reached an area under the receiver operating curve (AUROC) of 0.8092 (± 0.0132) for MSI prediction and 0.8372 (± 0.0179) for EBV prediction. The centralized model, which was trained on all datasets on a single computer, reached a similar performance.

CONCLUSIONS : Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of SL-based molecular biomarkers in gastric cancer. In the future, SL could be used for collaborative training and, thus, improve the performance of these biomarkers. This may ultimately result in clinical-grade performance and generalizability.

Saldanha Oliver Lester, Muti Hannah Sophie, Grabsch Heike I, Langer Rupert, Dislich Bastian, Kohlruss Meike, Keller Gisela, van Treeck Marko, Hewitt Katherine Jane, Kolbinger Fiona R, Veldhuizen Gregory Patrick, Boor Peter, Foersch Sebastian, Truhn Daniel, Kather Jakob Nikolas


Artificial intelligence, Biomarker, Blockchain, Gastric cancer, Pathology, Swarm learning