Simple Summary: Lung neuroendocrine neoplasms (lung NENs) are categorised by morphology, defining a classification sometimes unable to reflect ultimate clinical outcome, particularly for the intermediate domains of adenocarcinomas and large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas. Moreover, subjectivity and poor reproducibility characterise diagnosis and prognosis assessment of all NENs. The aim of this study was to design and evaluate an objective and reproducible approach to the grading of lung NENs, potentially extendable to other NENs, by exploring a completely new perspective of interpreting the well-recognised proliferation marker Ki-67. We designed an automated pipeline to harvest quantitative information from the spatial distribution of Ki-67-positive cells, analysing its heterogeneity in the entire extent of tumour tissue-which currently represents the main weakness of Ki-67-and employed machine learning techniques to predict prognosis based on this information. Demonstrating the efficacy of the proposed framework would hint at a possible path for the future of grading and classification of NENs.Lung neuroendocrine neoplasms (lung NENs) are categorised by morphology, defining a classification sometimes unable to reflect ultimate clinical outcome. Subjectivity and poor reproducibility characterise diagnosis and prognosis assessment of all NENs. Here, we propose a machine learning framework for tumour prognosis assessment based on a quantitative, automated and repeatable evaluation of the spatial distribution of cells immunohistochemically positive for the proliferation marker Ki-67, performed on the entire extent of high-resolution whole slide images. Combining features from the fields of graph theory, fractality analysis, stochastic geometry and information theory, we describe the topology of replicating cells and predict prognosis in a histology-independent way. We demonstrate how our approach outperforms the well-recognised prognostic role of Ki-67 Labelling Index on a multi-centre dataset comprising the most controversial lung NENs. Moreover, we show that our system identifies arrangement patterns in the cells positive for Ki-67 that appear independently of tumour subtyping. Strikingly, the subset of these features whose presence is also independent of the value of the Labelling Index and the density of Ki-67-positive cells prove to be especially relevant in discerning prognostic classes. These findings disclose a possible path for the future of grading and classification of NENs.

Automated Analysis of Proliferating Cells Spatial Organisation Predicts Prognosis in Lung Neuroendocrine Neoplasms

Pennella, Antonio;
2021

Abstract

Simple Summary: Lung neuroendocrine neoplasms (lung NENs) are categorised by morphology, defining a classification sometimes unable to reflect ultimate clinical outcome, particularly for the intermediate domains of adenocarcinomas and large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas. Moreover, subjectivity and poor reproducibility characterise diagnosis and prognosis assessment of all NENs. The aim of this study was to design and evaluate an objective and reproducible approach to the grading of lung NENs, potentially extendable to other NENs, by exploring a completely new perspective of interpreting the well-recognised proliferation marker Ki-67. We designed an automated pipeline to harvest quantitative information from the spatial distribution of Ki-67-positive cells, analysing its heterogeneity in the entire extent of tumour tissue-which currently represents the main weakness of Ki-67-and employed machine learning techniques to predict prognosis based on this information. Demonstrating the efficacy of the proposed framework would hint at a possible path for the future of grading and classification of NENs.Lung neuroendocrine neoplasms (lung NENs) are categorised by morphology, defining a classification sometimes unable to reflect ultimate clinical outcome. Subjectivity and poor reproducibility characterise diagnosis and prognosis assessment of all NENs. Here, we propose a machine learning framework for tumour prognosis assessment based on a quantitative, automated and repeatable evaluation of the spatial distribution of cells immunohistochemically positive for the proliferation marker Ki-67, performed on the entire extent of high-resolution whole slide images. Combining features from the fields of graph theory, fractality analysis, stochastic geometry and information theory, we describe the topology of replicating cells and predict prognosis in a histology-independent way. We demonstrate how our approach outperforms the well-recognised prognostic role of Ki-67 Labelling Index on a multi-centre dataset comprising the most controversial lung NENs. Moreover, we show that our system identifies arrangement patterns in the cells positive for Ki-67 that appear independently of tumour subtyping. Strikingly, the subset of these features whose presence is also independent of the value of the Labelling Index and the density of Ki-67-positive cells prove to be especially relevant in discerning prognostic classes. These findings disclose a possible path for the future of grading and classification of NENs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11369/418651
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