Multi-field-of-view Deep Learning Model Predicts Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Programmed Death Ligand-1 Status from Whole-slide Hematoxylin and Eosin Images

Journal of Pathology Informatics Manuscript
Authors Lingdao Sha, Bo Osinski, Irvin Ho, Tim Tan, Caleb Willis, Hannah Weiss, Nike Beaubier, Brett Mahon, Tim Taxter, Stephen Yip

Background: Tumor programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) status is useful in determining which patients may benefit from programmed death-1 (PD-1)/PD-L1 inhibitors. However, little is known about the association between PD-L1 status and tumor histopathological patterns. Using deep learning, we predicted PD-L1 status from hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) whole-slide images (WSIs) of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumor samples.

Materials and Methods: One hundred and thirty NSCLC patients were randomly assigned to training (n = 48) or test (n = 82) cohorts. A pair of H and E and PD-L1-immunostained WSIs was obtained for each patient. A pathologist annotated PD-L1 positive and negative tumor regions on the training samples using immunostained WSIs for reference. From the H and E WSIs, over 145,000 training tiles were generated and used to train a multi-field-of-view deep learning model with a residual neural network backbone.

Results: The trained model accurately predicted tumor PD-L1 status on the held-out test cohort of H and E WSIs, which was balanced for PD-L1 status (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] =0.80, P << 0.01). The model remained effective over a range of PD-L1 cutoff thresholds (AUC = 0.67–0.81, P ≤ 0.01) and when different proportions of the labels were randomly shuffled to simulate interpathologist disagreement (AUC = 0.63–0.77, P ≤ 0.03).

Conclusions: A robust deep learning model was developed to predict tumor PD-L1 status from H and E WSIs in NSCLC. These results suggest that PD-L1 expression is correlated with the morphological features of the tumor microenvironment.