Quantitative grading of rat esophageal carcinogenesis using computer- assisted image tile analysis
Chemopreventive Agent Development Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7322, USA.Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention (Impact Factor: 4.13). 06/2000; 9(5):495-500.
Our objective was to grade, by computer-assisted quantitative image tile analysis, the intraepithelial neoplasia (also called dysplasia) that develops in esophagi of rats given N-nitrosomethybenzylamine (NMBA) for 5 weeks. To perform image tile analysis, the computer divides the video image of the neoplastic epithelium into a row of contiguous small rectangular images, or "tiles," 84 x 292 microm in size, and quantitatively measures four selected tissue features within each image tile. The computer then calculates a tile grade for each image tile as the weighted sum of the four feature measurements, transformed into statistical Z-scores, the weights being determined by Fisher linear discriminant analysis of 300 tile grades of the neoplastic epithelium referenced to the mean tile grade (MTG) of 300 image tiles of normal epithelium. The two grading parameters, MTG and the percentage of tile grades exceeding the MTG of normal epithelium by >4 SD units (%TG>4SD), were validated as endpoints for screening chemopreventive agents in the rat NMBA-induced esophageal carcinogenesis model in two ways: (a) after NMBA treatment, %TG>4SD developed in parallel with tumor incidence and tumor multiplicity (number of papillomas/tumor-bearing rat); and (b) placing the chemopreventive phenethylisothiocyanate in the food of NMBA-treated rats produced parallel reductions in MTG, tumor incidence, and tumor multiplicity. Both MTG and %TG>4SD, measured by quantitative image tile analysis, are sensitive and objective continuous parametric response variables expressed to three significant figures, with wide dynamic range, that may be evaluated by t tests to compare tissue neoplastic changes before and after treatment with a chemopreventive agent.
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ABSTRACT: The objective of the study was to compare three methods of monitoring the inhibition by dietary theaflavins of N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA)-induced rat esophageal intraepithelial neoplasia: the mean tile grade, measured by computer-assisted quantitative image tile analysis; tumor multiplicity; and mean tumor size. A "tile" is defined as a small portion of a microscopic image at x 40, 87 x 292 microm in size. The computer divided the image of esophageal intraepithelial neoplasia into a grid of contiguous tiles and measured four tissue features within each tile based on cytonuclear and tissue architectural changes used by pathologists to diagnose intraepithelial neoplasia. The tile grade is defined as the weighted sum of the four feature measurements within a tile, the weights being determined by Fisher linear discriminant analysis. The mean tile grade of 300 tiles is used to grade rat esophageal intraepithelial neoplasia. NMBA was given s.c., 0.5 mg/kg, three times a week for 5 weeks. Theaflavins were given in the drinking water at 360 ppm (low dose) and 1200 ppm (high dose) throughout the experiment. In a given set of four groups of rats, one group received theaflavins alone, one NMBA alone, one NMBA plus low-dose theaflavins, and one NMBA plus high-dose theaflavins. One set of four groups, four rats/group, was sacrificed at the 15th week and another at the 20th week after starting NMBA; a final set with 15 rats/group was sacrificed at 25 weeks. At the 15th and 20th weeks, the mean tumor grade was the only variable that responded significantly (P < 0.01) to the low dose of dietary theaflavins. In fact, tumor multiplicity and mean tumor size sometimes showed enhancement at these doses. At the 25th week, when there were 15 instead of 4 rats/group, the mean tile grade, tumor multiplicity, and mean tumor size were all significantly (P < 0.01) decreased by both low and high doses of theaflavins. The mean tile grade is a more sensitive and reproducible variable than tumor multiplicity and mean tumor size in detecting the chemopreventive effects of theaflavins on intraepithelial neoplasia in the rat esophagus. This suggests that the mean tile grade may be a useful intermediate end point for use in human chemoprevention trials.Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 12/2000; 9(11):1149-54. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The development of prostatic lesions undergoes a slow progression. To establish efficacy of chemopreventive intervention it is therefore necessary to define surrogate endpoint biomarkers. Such biomarkers should be sensitive in their ability to indicate response. They should be objective, ie, the result of measurement, and numerically defined so that a statistical validation of response is possible. They should be able to indicate not only a halt of progression of a lesion, but also a reversal of progression. The spatial and statistical distribution of nuclear chromatin in the secretory and luminal cells in prostatic intraepithelial neoplastic lesions has been shown to be well defined. It can be represented by a set of features. These have been used to define a progression curve along which progression or regression of a lesion can be assessed. One could define a fixed endpoint, or one might choose to accept a statistically significant regression along the progression curve as criterion for chemopreventive efficacy. Expected difficulties could arise from lesion heterogeneity, as it would affect the sampling, and from multifocal lesions of differing progressions. Lesion heterogeneity thus limits the precision with which regression could be detected. These problems might be partially overcome by observations taken in histologically normal appearing regions of the prostate. The nuclear chromatin pattern of secretory cell nuclei measured in such tissue regions from prostates harboring intraepithelial or malignant lesions has been shown to exhibit distinctive changes from the chromatin pattern seen in secretory cell nuclei from prostates free from any such lesions. These changes appear to be expressed in the tissue up to a substantial distance from a lesion. The expression of changes in the nuclear chromatin suggests the existence of an intraepithelial preneoplastic lesion that can be detected by biomarkers, but which is not apparent from visual microscopic inspection. Since chemoprevention might be expected to be most effective at the earliest stages of lesion development, the assessment of such early alterations is seen as highly relevant to efforts to validate the efficacy of chemopreventive intervention.Urology 05/2001; 57(4 Suppl 1):129-31. DOI:10.1016/S0090-4295(00)00956-0 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the human esophagus has a multifactorial etiology involving several environmental and/or genetic factors. Current modalities of therapy for this disease offer poor survival and cure rates. Although a number of approaches could be undertaken to reduce the occurrence of esophageal SCC, including changes in lifestyle and improved nutrition, such approaches are not easily implemented. Chemoprevention offers a viable alternative that is likely to be effective against this disease. Clinical investigations in areas of high incidence of esophageal SCC have shown that primary chemoprevention of this disease is feasible, if potent inhibitors are identified. Studies in the Fischer 344 rat model of nitrosamine-induced tumorigenesis have proven valuable in understanding the biology of esophageal SCCs and help identify surrogate end-point biomarkers and putative agents that can be useful in human chemoprevention studies. Several compounds that inhibit tumor initiation by suspected human esophageal carcinogens have been identified using this model. These include diallyl sulfide, isothiocyanates and several polyphenolic compounds. Novel biomarkers, including nuclear/nucleolar morphometry using computer-assisted image analysis of preneoplastic lesions, have been developed to measure efficacy of chemopreventive agents against esophageal SCC. The identification of single agents that inhibit the progression of dysplastic lesions, however, has proven difficult. Results from a food-based approach suggest that the use of freeze-dried berry preparations can affect both initiation and promotion/progression of esophageal SCC in an animal model. These observations provide valuable information for future studies on chemoprevention of cancers of the esophagus in a clinical setting. Given the complex etiology of esophageal SCC, it is felt that the most effective chemoprevention strategies would include agents that reduce mutational events associated with carcinogen exposure in combination with agents that inhibit the progression of intraepithelial dysplasia to invasive cancer.Carcinogenesis 12/2001; 22(11):1737-46. DOI:10.1093/carcin/22.11.1737 · 5.33 Impact Factor
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