LG258: New breast cancer prognostic factors identified by computer-aided image analysis of HE stained histopathology images

Friday, February 12, 2016 - 13:30
Andrew Janowczyk, PhD
Computer-aided image analysis (CAI) can help objectively quantify morphologic features of hematoxylin-eosin (HE) histopathology images and provide potentially useful prognostic information on breast cancer. We performed a CAI workflow on 1,150 HE images from 230 patients with invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) of the breast. We used a pixel-wise support vector machine classifier for tumor nests (TNs)-stroma segmentation, and a marker-controlled watershed algorithm for nuclei segmentation. 730 morphologic parameters were extracted after segmentation, and 12 parameters identified by Kaplan-Meier analysis were significantly associated with 8-year disease free survival (P < 0.05 for all). Moreover, four image features including TNs feature (HR 1.327, 95%CI [1.001 - 1.759], P = 0.049), TNs cell nuclei feature (HR 0.729, 95%CI [0.537 - 0.989], P = 0.042), TNs cell density (HR 1.625, 95%CI [1.177 - 2.244], P = 0.003), and stromal cell structure feature (HR 1.596, 95%CI [1.142 - 2.229], P  = 0.006) were identified by multivariate Cox proportional hazards model to be new independent prognostic factors. The results indicated that CAI can assist the pathologist in extracting prognostic information from HE histopathology images for IDC. The TNs feature, TNs cell nuclei feature, TNs cell density, and stromal cell structure feature could be new prognostic factors.