Stable and discriminating features are predictive of cancer presence and Gleason grade in radical prostatectomy specimens: a multi-site study.

TitleStable and discriminating features are predictive of cancer presence and Gleason grade in radical prostatectomy specimens: a multi-site study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsLeo, P, Elliott R, Shih NNC, Gupta S, Feldman M, Madabhushi A
JournalScientific reports
Date Published2018 Oct 08

Site variation in fixation, staining, and scanning can confound automated tissue based image classifiers for disease characterization. In this study we incorporated stability into four feature selection methods for identifying the most robust and discriminating features for two prostate histopathology classification tasks. We evaluated 242 morphology features from N = 212 prostatectomy specimens from four sites for automated cancer detection and grading. We quantified instability as the rate of significant cross-site feature differences. We mapped feature stability and discriminability using 188 non-cancerous and 210 cancerous regions via 3-fold cross validation, then held one site out, creating independent training and testing sets. In training, one feature set was selected only for discriminability, another for discriminability and stability. We trained a classifier with each feature set, testing on the hold out site. Experiments were repeated with 117 Gleason grade 3 and 112 grade 4 regions. Stability was calculated across non-cancerous regions. Gland shape features yielded the best stability and area under the receiver operating curve (AUC) trade-off while co-occurrence texture features were generally unstable. Our stability-informed method produced a cancer detection AUC of 0.98 ± 0.05 and increased average Gleason grading AUC by 4.38%. Color normalization of the images tended to exacerbate feature instability.

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