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In Journal of pathology informatics ; h5-index 23.0

Background : Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of malignant kidney tumor and is responsible for 14,830 deaths per year in the United States. Among the four most common subtypes of renal cell carcinoma, clear cell renal cell carcinoma has the worst prognosis and clear cell papillary renal cell carcinoma appears to have no malignant potential. Distinction between these two subtypes can be difficult due to morphologic overlap on examination of histopathological preparation stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Ancillary techniques, such as immunohistochemistry, can be helpful, but they are not universally available. We propose and evaluate a new deep learning framework for tumor classification tasks to distinguish clear cell renal cell carcinoma from papillary renal cell carcinoma.

Methods : Our deep learning framework is composed of three convolutional neural networks. We divided whole-slide kidney images into patches with three different sizes where each network processes a specific patch size. Our framework provides patchwise and pixelwise classification. The histopathological kidney data is composed of 64 image slides that belong to 4 categories: fat, parenchyma, clear cell renal cell carcinoma, and clear cell papillary renal cell carcinoma. The final output of our framework is an image map where each pixel is classified into one class. To maintain consistency, we processed the map with Gauss-Markov random field smoothing.

Results : Our framework succeeded in classifying the four classes and showed superior performance compared to well-established state-of-the-art methods (pixel accuracy: 0.89 ResNet18, 0.92 proposed).

Conclusions : Deep learning techniques have a significant potential for cancer diagnosis.

Abdeltawab Hisham A, Khalifa Fahmi A, Ghazal Mohammed A, Cheng Liang, El-Baz Ayman S, Gondim Dibson D


Computational pathology, Deep learning, Histopathological images, Kidney cancer