Computational tumor stroma reaction evaluation led to novel prognosis-associated fibrosis and molecular signature discoveries in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma

Jun Jiang, Burak Tekin, Lin Yuan, Sebastian Armasu, Stacey J. Winham, Ellen L. Goode, Hongfang Liu, Yajue Huang, Ruifeng Guo, Chen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: As one of the key criteria to differentiate benign vs. malignant tumors in ovarian and other solid cancers, tumor-stroma reaction (TSR) is long observed by pathologists and has been found correlated with patient prognosis. However, paucity of study aims to overcome subjective bias or automate TSR evaluation for enabling association analysis to a large cohort. Materials and methods: Serving as positive and negative sets of TSR studies, H&E slides of primary tumors of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) (n = 291) and serous borderline ovarian tumor (SBOT) (n = 15) were digitally scanned. Three pathologist-defined quantification criteria were used to characterize the extents of TSR. Scores for each criterion were annotated (0/1/2 as none-low/intermediate/high) in the training set consisting of 18,265 H&E patches. Serial of deep learning (DL) models were trained to identify tumor vs. stroma regions and predict TSR scores. After cross-validation and independent validations, the trained models were generalized to the entire HGSOC cohort and correlated with clinical characteristics. In a subset of cases tumor transcriptomes were available, gene- and pathway-level association studies were conducted with TSR scores. Results: The trained models accurately identified the tumor stroma tissue regions and predicted TSR scores. Within tumor stroma interface region, TSR fibrosis scores were strongly associated with patient prognosis. Cancer signaling aberrations associated 14 KEGG pathways were also found positively correlated with TSR-fibrosis score. Conclusion: With the aid of DL, TSR evaluation could be generalized to large cohort to enable prognostic association analysis and facilitate discovering novel gene and pathways associated with disease progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number994467
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2022

Keywords

  • digital pathology
  • high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma
  • molecular signature
  • prognostic fibrosis
  • tumor-stroma reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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