Tumour area infiltration and cell count in endoscopic biopsies of therapy-naive upper GI tract carcinomas by QuPath analysis: implications for predictive biomarker testing

Scientific Reports(2023)

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摘要
Guidelines regulate how many (tumour-bearing) tissue particles should be sampled during gastric cancer biopsy to obtain representative results in predictive biomarker testing. Little is known about how well these guidelines are applied, how the number of tissue particles correlates with the actual tumour-infiltrated area and how many absolute tumour cells are captured. The study included endoscopic biopsies of untreated carcinomas of the upper gastrointestinal (GI)-tract during the 2016–2020 review period. Archival (H&E)-stained histological sections were digitised and the tumour areas were manually annotated. The tumour-bearing tissue area and absolute carcinoma cell count per case were determined by image analysis and compared with a reference primary surgical specimen. Biopsies from 253 patients were analysed. The following mean values were determined: (a) tumour tissue particle number: 6.5 (range: 1–25, standard deviation (SD) = 3.33), (b) number of tumour-bearing tissue particles: 4.7 (range: 1–20, SD = 2.80), (c) tumour-infiltrated area: 7.5 mm 2 (range: 0.18–59.46 mm 2 , SD = 6.67 mm 2 ), (d) absolute tumour cell count: 13,492 (range: 193–92,834, SD = 14,185) and (e) tumour cell count in a primary surgical specimen (tumour size: 6.7 cm): 105,200,176. The guideline-recommended tissue particle count of 10 was not achieved in 208 patients (82.2%) and the required tumour-bearing tissue particle count of 5 was not achieved in 133 patients (52.6%). Tissue particle count, tumour-infiltrated area and tumour cell count were only weakly correlated. Most cases featured an infiltrated area ≥ 4.5 mm 2 (156, 61.7%). Cases with more tissue particles showed only a moderate increase in infiltrated area and tumour cells compared to cases with fewer particles. Biopsies are often used to determine predictive biomarkers, particularly Her2/neu and PD-L1. Diagnostic standards to ensure representative material have been suggested in guidelines to reduce false-negative predictions. However, the real-world practice seems to substantially deviate from recommended standards. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first systematic study describing the relationships between endoscopic tissue fragment number, actual infiltrated tumour area and carcinoma cell number. The data question the tissue particle number as a quality assessment parameter. We advocate histopathological reports indicating on which basis statements on therapy-relevant biomarkers were made. Digital pathology has the potential to objectively quantify the tissue for documentation, quality assessment and future clinical studies.
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关键词
endoscopic biopsies,qupath analysis,tumour,biomarker,therapy-naive
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