Critical evaluation of artificial intelligence as a digital twin of pathologists for prostate cancer pathology.

Prostate cancer pathology plays a crucial role in clinical management but is time-consuming. Artificial intelligence (AI) shows promise in detecting prostate cancer and grading patterns. We tested an AI-based digital twin of a pathologist, vPatho, on 2603 histological images of prostate tissue stained with hematoxylin and eosin.

We analyzed various factors influencing tumor grade discordance between the vPatho system and six human pathologists. Our results demonstrated that vPatho achieved comparable performance in prostate cancer detection and tumor volume estimation, as reported in the literature. The concordance levels between vPatho and human pathologists were examined. Notably, moderate to substantial agreement was observed in identifying complementary histological features such as ductal, cribriform, nerve, blood vessel, and lymphocyte infiltration. However, concordance in tumor grading decreased when applied to prostatectomy specimens (κ = 0.44) compared to biopsy cores (κ = 0.70). Adjusting the decision threshold for the secondary Gleason pattern from 5 to 10% improved the concordance level between pathologists and vPatho for tumor grading on prostatectomy specimens (κ from 0.44 to 0.64). Potential causes of grade discordance included the vertical extent of tumors toward the prostate boundary and the proportions of slides with prostate cancer. Gleason pattern 4 was particularly associated with this population. Notably, the grade according to vPatho was not specific to any of the six pathologists involved in routine clinical grading. In conclusion, our study highlights the potential utility of AI in developing a digital twin for a pathologist. This approach can help uncover limitations in AI adoption and the practical application of the current grading system for prostate cancer pathology.

Scientific reports. 2024 Mar 04*** epublish ***

Okyaz Eminaga, Mahmoud Abbas, Christian Kunder, Yuri Tolkach, Ryan Han, James D Brooks, Rosalie Nolley, Axel Semjonow, Martin Boegemann, Robert West, Jin Long, Richard E Fan, Olaf Bettendorf

AI Vobis, Palo Alto, CA, 94306, USA. ., Department of Pathology, Prostate Center, University Hospital Muenster, Muenster, Germany. ., Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, USA., Department of Pathology, Cologne University Hospital, Cologne, Germany., Department of Computer Science, Stanford University, Stanford, USA., Department of Urology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA., Department of Urology, Prostate Center, University Hospital Muenster, Muenster, Germany., Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, USA., Institute for Pathology and Cytology, Schuettorf, Germany. .

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