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Tumor Micro-environment Interactions Guided Graph Learning for Survival Analysis of Human Cancers from Whole-slide Pathological Images

WEI SHAO · YangYang Shi · Daoqiang Zhang · Junjie Zhou · Peng Wan

Arch 4A-E Poster #199
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Thu 20 Jun 10:30 a.m. PDT — noon PDT


The recent advance of deep learning technology brings the possibility of assisting the pathologist to predict the patients’ survival from whole-slide pathological images(WSIs). However, most of the prevalent methods only worked on the sampled patches in specifically or randomly selected tumor areas of WSIs, which has very limited capability to capture the complex interactions between tumorand its surrounding micro-environment components. As a matter of fact, tumor is supported and nurtured in the heterogeneous tumor micro-environment(TME), and the detailed analysis of TME and their correlation with tumors are important to in-depth analyze the mechanism of cancer development. In this paper, we considered the spatial interactions among tumor and its two major TME components(i.e., lymphocytes and stromal fibrosis) and proposed a Tumor Micro-environment Interactions Guided Graph Learnng (TMEGL) algorithm for the prognosis prediction of human cancers. Specifically, we firstly selected different types of patches as nodes to build graph for each WSI. Then, a novel TME neighborhood organization guided graph embedding algorithm was proposed to learn node representations that can preserve their topological structure information. Finally, a Gated Graph Attention Network is applied to capture survival-associated intersections among tumor and different TME components for clinical outcome prediction. We tested TMEGL on three cancer cohorts derived from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and the experimental results indicated that TMEGL not only outperforms the existing WSI-based survival analysis models, but also has good explainable ability for survival prediction.

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