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Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Image-based assessment of extracellular mucin-to-tumor area predicts consensus molecular subtypes (CMS) in colorectal cancer
Authors: Nguyen, Huu-Giao
Lundström, Oxana
Blank, Annika
Dawson, Heather
Lugli, Alessandro
Anisimova, Maria
Zlobec, Inti
et. al: No
DOI: 10.1038/s41379-021-00894-8
Published in: Modern Pathology
Volume(Issue): 35
Page(s): 240
Pages to: 248
Issue Date: 2-Sep-2021
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0893-3952
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 572: Biochemistry
Abstract: The backbone of all colorectal cancer classifications including the consensus molecular subtypes (CMS) highlights microsatellite instability (MSI) as a key molecular pathway. Although mucinous histology (generally defined as >50% extracellular mucin-to-tumor area) is a "typical" feature of MSI, it is not limited to this subgroup. Here, we investigate the association of CMS classification and mucin-to-tumor area quantified using a deep learning algorithm, and  the expression of specific mucins in predicting CMS groups and clinical outcome. A weakly supervised segmentation method was developed to quantify extracellular mucin-to-tumor area in H&E images. Performance was compared to two pathologists' scores, then applied to two cohorts: (1) TCGA (n = 871 slides/412 patients) used for mucin-CMS group correlation and (2) Bern (n = 775 slides/517 patients) for histopathological correlations and next-generation Tissue Microarray construction. TCGA and CPTAC (n = 85 patients) were used to further validate mucin detection and CMS classification by gene and protein expression analysis for MUC2, MUC4, MUC5AC and MUC5B. An excellent inter-observer agreement between pathologists' scores and the algorithm was obtained (ICC = 0.92). In TCGA, mucinous tumors were predominantly CMS1 (25.7%), CMS3 (24.6%) and CMS4 (16.2%). Average mucin in CMS2 was 1.8%, indicating negligible amounts. RNA and protein expression of MUC2, MUC4, MUC5AC and MUC5B were low-to-absent in CMS2. MUC5AC protein expression correlated with aggressive tumor features (e.g., distant metastases (p = 0.0334), BRAF mutation (p < 0.0001), mismatch repair-deficiency (p < 0.0001), and unfavorable 5-year overall survival (44% versus 65% for positive/negative staining). MUC2 expression showed the opposite trend, correlating with less lymphatic (p = 0.0096) and venous vessel invasion (p = 0.0023), no impact on survival.The absence of mucin-expressing tumors in CMS2 provides an important phenotype-genotype correlation. Together with MSI, mucinous histology may help predict CMS classification using only histopathology and should be considered in future image classifiers of molecular subtypes.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Computational Life Sciences (ICLS)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Trans-omic approach to colorectal cancer: an integrative computational and clinical perspective
Appears in collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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