Mathematical modelling and deep learning algorithms to automate assessment of single and digitally multiplexed immunohistochemical stains in tumoural stroma

Liam Burrows, Declan Sculthorpe, Hongrun Zhang, Obaid Rehman, Abhik Mukherjee, Ke Chen

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Abstract

Whilst automated analysis of immunostains in pathology research has focused predominantly on the epithelial compartment, automated analysis of stains in the stromal compartment is challenging and therefore requires time-consuming pathological input and guidance to adjust to tissue morphometry as perceived by pathologists. This study aimed to develop a robust method to automate stromal stain analyses using 2 of the commonest stromal stains (SMA and desmin) employed in clinical pathology practice as examples. An effective computational method capable of automatically assessing and quantifying tumour-associated stromal stains was developed and applied on cores of colorectal cancer tissue microarrays. The methodology combines both mathematical models and deep learning techniques with the former requiring no training data and the latter as many inputs as possible. The novel mathematical model was used to produce a digital double marker overlay allowing for fast automated digital multiplex analysis of stromal stains. The results show that deep learning methodologies in combination with mathematical modelling allow for an accurate means of quantifying stromal stains whilst also opening up new possibilities of digital multiplex analyses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100351
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Pathology Informatics
Volume15
Early online date14 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • digital pathology
  • tissue microarrays
  • stromal stain
  • mathematical modelling
  • machine learning
  • digital multiplex

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