New imaging system and artificial intelligence algorithm accurately identify brain tumors

January 06, 2020

A novel method of combining advanced optical imaging with an artificial intelligence algorithm produces accurate, real-time intraoperative diagnosis of brain tumors, a new study finds.

Published in Nature Medicine on January 6, the study examined the diagnostic accuracy of brain tumor image classification through machine learning, compared with the accuracy of pathologist interpretation of conventional histologic images. The results for both methods were comparable: the AI-based diagnosis was 94.6% accurate, compared with 93.9% for the pathologist-based interpretation.

The imaging technique, stimulated Raman histology (SRH), reveals tumor infiltration in human tissue by collecting scattered laser light, illuminating essential features not typically seen in standard histologic images.

The microscopic images are then processed and analyzed with artificial intelligence, and in under two and a half minutes, surgeons are able to see a predicted brain tumor diagnosis. Using the same technology, after the resection, they are able to accurately detect and remove otherwise undetectable tumor.

"As surgeons, we're limited to acting on what we can see; this technology allows us to see what would otherwise be invisible, to improve speed and accuracy in the OR, and reduce the risk of misdiagnosis," says senior author Daniel A. Orringer, MD, associate professor of Neurosurgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, who helped develop SRH and co-led the study with colleagues at the University of Michigan. "With this imaging technology, cancer operations are safer and more effective than ever before."

How the Study Was Conducted

To build the artificial intelligence tool used in the study, researchers trained a deep convolutional neural network (CNN) with more than 2.5 million samples from 415 patients to classify tissue into 13 histologic categories that represent the most common brain tumors, including malignant glioma, lymphoma, metastatic tumors, and meningioma.

In order to validate the CNN, researchers enrolled 278 patients undergoing brain tumor resection or epilepsy surgery at three university medical centers in the prospective clinical trial. Brain tumor specimens were biopsied from patients, split intraoperatively into sister specimens, and randomly assigned to the control or experimental arm.

Specimens routed through the control arm--the current standard practice--were transported to a pathology laboratory and went through specimen processing, slide preparation by technicians, and interpretation by pathologists, a process which takes 20-30 minutes. The experimental arm was performed intraoperatively, from image acquisition and processing to diagnostic prediction via CNN.

Notably, the diagnostic errors in the experimental group were unique from the errors in the control group, suggesting that a pathologist using the novel technique could achieve close to 100% accuracy. The system's precise diagnostic capacity could also be beneficial to centers that lack access to expert neuropathologists.

"SRH will revolutionize the field of neuropathology by improving decision-making during surgery and providing expert-level assessment in the hospitals where trained neuropathologists are not available," says Matija Snuderl, MD, associate professor in the Department of Pathology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and a co-author of the study.

NYU Langone's Brain and Spine Tumor Center Offers Cutting-Edge Treatment

Dr. Orringer joined NYU Langone in August 2019, bringing with him the SRH technology he helped to develop. NYU Langone's Brain and Spine Tumor Center is the first to offer this technique, using Invenio's NIO Laser Imaging System, in the Northeast.

The newest addition to the center's comprehensive suite of neurosurgical imaging technologies, SRH works in concert with intraoperative MRI and fluorescence-guided surgery to provide high-resolution precision guidance for NYU Langone's world-class neurosurgeons.

"NYU Langone's Department of Neurosurgery has long been a leader in bringing the most advanced treatment options to our patients," says John G. Golfinos, MD, Joseph P. Ransohoff Professor of neurology and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. "With the addition of Dr. Orringer's expertise and this game-changing technology, we're now even better equipped to provide safe surgeries and quality outcomes for the most complex brain tumor cases."

The implementation of this new system is the most recent of NYU Langone's efforts to integrate artificial intelligence in clinical practice to improve diagnostics of cancer. Researchers and clinicians at NYU Langone's Perlmutter Cancer Center have made recent strides in lung cancer, breast cancer, and brain tumor.
-end-


NYU Langone Health / NYU School of Medicine

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.