Application of digital pathology-based advanced analytics of tumour microenvironment organisation to predict prognosis and therapeutic responseMore about Open Access at the Crick
In recent years, the application of advanced analytics, especially artificial intelligence (AI), to digital H&E images, and other histological image types, has begun to radically change how histological images are used in the clinic. Alongside the recognition that the tumour microenvironment (TME) has a profound impact on tumour phenotype, the technical development of highly multiplexed immunofluorescence platforms has enhanced the biological complexity that can be captured in the TME with high precision. AI has an increasingly powerful role in the recognition and quantitation of image features and the association of such features with clinically important outcomes, as occurs in distinct stages in conventional machine learning. Deep-learning algorithms are able to elucidate TME patterns inherent in the input data with minimum levels of human intelligence and, hence, have the potential to achieve clinically relevant predictions and discovery of important TME features. Furthermore, the diverse repertoire of deep-learning algorithms able to interrogate TME patterns extends beyond convolutional neural networks to include attention-based models, graph neural networks, and multimodal models. To date, AI models have largely been evaluated retrospectively, outside the well-established rigour of prospective clinical trials, in part because traditional clinical trial methodology may not always be suitable for the assessment of AI technology. However, to enable digital pathology-based advanced analytics to meaningfully impact clinical care, specific measures of 'added benefit' to the current standard of care and validation in a prospective setting are important. This will need to be accompanied by adequate measures of explainability and interpretability. Despite such challenges, the combination of expanding datasets, increased computational power, and the possibility of integration of pre-clinical experimental insights into model development means there is exciting potential for the future progress of these AI applications. © 2023 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
Journal Journal of Pathology
Issue number 5