Pan-Cancer Diagnostic Consensus Through Searching Archival Histopathology Images Using Artificial Intelligence

11/20/2019 ∙ by Shivam Kalra, et al. ∙ 35

The emergence of digital pathology has opened new horizons for histopathology and cytology. Artificial-intelligence algorithms are able to operate on digitized slides to assist pathologists with diagnostic tasks. Whereas machine learning involving classification and segmentation methods have obvious benefits for image analysis in pathology, image search represents a fundamental shift in computational pathology. Matching the pathology of new patients with already diagnosed and curated cases offers pathologist a novel approach to improve diagnostic accuracy through visual inspection of similar cases and computational majority vote for consensus building. In this study, we report the results from searching the largest public repository (The Cancer Genome Atlas [TCGA] program by National Cancer Institute, USA) of whole slide images from almost 11,000 patients depicting different types of malignancies. For the first time, we successfully indexed and searched almost 30,000 high-resolution digitized slides constituting 16 terabytes of data comprised of 20 million 1000x1000 pixels image patches. The TCGA image database covers 25 anatomic sites and contains 32 cancer subtypes. High-performance storage and GPU power were employed for experimentation. The results were assessed with conservative "majority voting" to build consensus for subtype diagnosis through vertical search and demonstrated high accuracy values for both frozen sections slides (e.g., bladder urothelial carcinoma 93 and ovarian serous cystadenocarcinoma 99 (e.g., prostate adenocarcinoma 98 100 consensus appears to be possible for rendering diagnoses if a sufficiently large number of searchable cases are available for each cancer subtype.

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