Calum MacAulay

BC Cancer Research Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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Publications (321)914.77 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: For the first time, we present co-registered autofluorescence imaging and optical coherence tomography (AF/OCT) of excised human palatine tonsils to evaluate the capabilities of OCT to visualize tonsil tissue components. Despite limited penetration depth, OCT can provide detailed structural information about tonsil tissue with much higher resolution than that of computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and Ultrasound. Different tonsil tissue components such as epithelium, dense connective tissue, lymphoid nodules, and crypts can be visualized by OCT. The co-registered AF imaging can provide matching biochemical information. AF/OCT scans may provide a non-invasive tool for detecting tonsillar cancers and for studying the natural history of their development.
    PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115889. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology 11/2014; · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: DNA ploidy analysis, a semi-automated process, has been proposed as a potential alternative for cervical screening; however, this strategy has not been evaluated economically. Our study examined the cost-effectiveness of ploidy analysis in comparison to liquid-based Papanicolaou (Pap) smear in the screening setting. Methods: The use of ploidy was examined with five thresholds corresponding to the number (from 1 to 5) of aneuploid cells in a specimen. For example, the ploidy 3 cell strategy rendered a specimen abnormal if at least 3 aneuploid cells were found. We compared these five ploidy strategies and the liquid-based Pap smear with a no screening strategy as the reference. We developed a state-transition Markov model to simulate the natural history of HPV infection and possible progression into cervical neoplasia in a hypothetical cohort of 12-year-old females (started triennial screening from 21 years). The analysis was conducted using cost in 2012 US$ and effectiveness in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) from a health-system perspective throughout a lifetime horizon in the US setting. The willingness-to-pay threshold was $50,000/QALY. We calculated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for the various strategies to determine the best ploidy strategy and the overall recommended strategy. The robustness of optimal choices was examined in deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. Results: In the base-case analysis, the ploidy 4 cell strategy was cost-effective. It increased the quality-adjusted life expectancy by 0.083 QALY and yielded an ICER of $8,774/QALY compared to the no screening strategy. In the deterministic sensitivity analysis, the cost-effectiveness was most sensitive to the cost of the Pap smear procedure, the cost of treating high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, the cost of the ploidy analysis, and the ploidy strategies' operating characteristics. For most scenarios, the ploidy 4 cell strategy was cost-effective and was considered the best ploidy strategy. The cost-effectiveness acceptability curves showed that the ploidy 4 cell strategy was more likely to be cost-effective than the Pap smear strategy. Conclusion: Compared to liquid-based Pap smear screening, ploidy analysis appeared less costly and comparably effective using the standard willingness-to-pay threshold. Screening for cervical neoplasia using DNA ploidy analysis may be a satisfactory alternative, particularly in low-infrastructure settings. Figure 1. Cost-effectiveness acceptability curves comparing no screening, Papanicolaou smear screening, and the ploidy 4 cell strategy.
    The 36th Annual Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making; 10/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Worldwide, oral cancer is responsible for 170,000 deaths per year. Intervention to prevent this disease is a long sought after goal. Chemoprevention studies have focused on clinicopathological features of potentially malignant lesions (PML) in an effort to prevent their progression to cancer. However, prediction of future behavior for such lesions is difficult and remains a major challenge to such intervention. Different approaches to this problem have been tested in the past 20years. Early genetic progression models identified critical regions of allelic imbalance at 3p and 9p, and provided the basis for molecular markers to identify progressing PMLs. Subsequently, technological advances, such as genome-wide high-throughput array platforms, computer imaging, visualization technology and next generation sequencing, have broadened the scope for marker development and have the potential of further improving our ability to identify high-risk lesions in the near future either alone or in combination. In this article, we examine the milestones in the development of markers for PML progression. We emphasize the critical importance of networks among scientists, health professionals and community to facilitate the validation and application of putative markers into clinical practice. With a growing number of new agents to validate, it is necessary to coordinate the design and implementation of strategies for patient recruitment, integration of marker assessment, and the final translation of such approaches into clinical use.
    Oral Oncology 09/2014; · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Accurate cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) lesion grading is needed for effective patient management. We applied computer-assisted scanning and analytic approaches to immuno-stained CIN lesion sections to more accurately delineate disease states and decipher cell proliferation impacts from HPV and smoking within individual epithelial layers. A patient cohort undergoing cervical screening was identified (n = 196) and biopsies of varying disease grades and with intact basement membranes and epithelial layers were obtained (n = 261). Specimens were sectioned, stained (Mib1), and scanned using a high-resolution imaging system. We achieved semi-automated delineation of proliferation status and epithelial cell layers using Otsu segmentation, manual image review, Voronoi tessellation, and immuno-staining. Data were interrogated against known status for HPV infection, smoking, and disease grade. We observed increased cell proliferation and decreased epithelial thickness with increased disease grade (when analyzing the epithelium at full thickness). Analysis within individual cell layers showed a ≥50% increase in cell proliferation for CIN2 vs. CIN1 lesions in higher epithelial layers (with minimal differences seen in basal/parabasal layers). Higher rates of proliferation for HPV-positive vs. -negative cases were seen in epithelial layers beyond the basal/parabasal layers in normal and CIN1 tissues. Comparing smokers vs. non-smokers, we observed increased cell proliferation in parabasal (low and high grade lesions) and basal layers (high grade only). In sum, we report CIN grade-specific differences in cell proliferation within individual epithelial layers. We also show HPV and smoking impacts on cell layer-specific proliferation. Our findings yield insight into CIN progression biology and demonstrate that rigorous, semi-automated imaging of histopathological specimens may be applied to improve disease grading accuracy.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e107088. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a power-efficient fiber-based imaging system capable of co-registered autofluorescence imaging and optical coherence tomography (AF/OCT). The system employs a custom fiber optic rotary joint (FORJ) with an embedded dichroic mirror to efficiently combine the OCT and AF pathways. This three-port wavelength multiplexing FORJ setup has a throughput of more than 83% for collected AF emission, significantly more efficient compared to previously reported fiber-based methods. A custom 900 µm diameter catheter ‒ consisting of a rotating lens assembly, double-clad fiber (DCF), and torque cable in a stationary plastic tube ‒ was fabricated to allow AF/OCT imaging of small airways in vivo. We demonstrate the performance of this system ex vivo in resected porcine airway specimens and in vivo in human on fingers, in the oral cavity, and in peripheral airways.
    Biomedical Optics Express 09/2014; 5(9). · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Examining and quantifying changes in airway morphology is critical for studying longitudinal pathogenesis and interventions in diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Here we present fiber-optic optical coherence tomography (OCT) as a nondestructive technique to precisely and accurately measure the 2-dimensional cross-sectional areas of airway wall substructure divided into the mucosa (WAmuc), submucosa (WAsub), cartilage (WAcart), and the airway total wall area (WAt). Porcine lung airway specimens were dissected from freshly resected lung lobes (N = 10). Three-dimensional OCT imaging using a fiber-optic rotary-pullback probe was performed immediately on airways greater than 0.9 mm in diameter on the fresh airway specimens and subsequently on the same specimens post-formalin-fixation. The fixed specimens were serially sectioned and stained with H&E. OCT images carefully matched to selected sections stained with Movat's pentachrome demonstrated that OCT effectively identifies airway epithelium, lamina propria, and cartilage. Selected H&E sections were digitally scanned and airway total wall areas were measured. Traced measurements of WAmuc, WAsub, WAcart, and WAt from OCT images of fresh specimens by two independent observers found there were no significant differences (p>0.05) between the observer's measurements. The same wall area measurements from OCT images of formalin-fixed specimens found no significant differences for WAsub, WAcart and WAt, and a small but significant difference for WAmuc. Bland-Altman analysis indicated there were negligible biases between the observers for OCT wall area measurements in both fresh and formalin-fixed specimens. Bland-Altman analysis also indicated there was negligible bias between histology and OCT wall area measurements for both fresh and formalin-fixed specimens. We believe this study sets the groundwork for quantitatively monitoring pathogenesis and interventions in the airways using OCT.
    PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e100145. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a polarization diversity detection scheme for optical coherence tomography with a new, custom, miniaturized fiber coupler with single mode (SM) fiber inputs and polarization maintaining (PM) fiber outputs. The SM fiber inputs obviate matching the optical lengths of the X and Y OCT polarization channels prior to interference and the PM fiber outputs ensure defined X and Y axes after interference. Advantages for this scheme include easier alignment, lower cost, and easier miniaturization compared to designs with free-space bulk optical components. We demonstrate the utility of the detection system to mitigate the effects of rapidly changing polarization states when imaging with rotating fiber optic probes in Intralipid suspension and during in vivo imaging of human airways.
    Optics Letters 06/2014; 39(12):3638-3641. · 3.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A major challenge for the early diagnosis of oral cancer is the ability to differentiate oral premalignant lesions (OPL) at high risk of progressing into invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) from those at low risk. Our group has previously used high-resolution image analysis algorithms to quantify the nuclear phenotypic changes occurring in OPLs. This approach, however, requires a manual selection of nuclei images. Here, we investigated a new, semi-automated algorithm to identify OPLs at high risk of progressing into invasive SCC from those at low risk using Random Forests, a tree-based ensemble classifier. We trained a sequence of classifiers using morphometric data calculated on nuclei from 29 normal, 5 carcinoma in situ (CIS) and 28 SCC specimens. After automated discrimination of nuclei from other objects (i.e., debris, clusters, etc.), a nuclei classifier was trained to discriminate abnormal nuclei (8,841) from normal nuclei (5,762). We extracted voting scores from this trained classifier and created an automated nuclear phenotypic score (aNPS) to identify OPLs at high risk of progression. The new algorithm showed a correct classification rate of 80 % (80.6 % sensitivity, 79.3 % specificity) at the cellular level for the test set, and a correct classification rate of 75 % (77.8 % sensitivity, 71.4 % specificity) at the tissue level with a negative predictive value of 76 % and a positive predictive value of 74 % for predicting progression among 71 OPLs, performed on par with the manual method in our previous study. We conclude that the newly developed aNPS algorithm serves as a crucial asset in the implementation of high-resolution image analysis in routine clinical pathology practice to identify lesions that require molecular evaluation or more frequent follow-up.
    Cellular oncology (Dordrecht). 05/2014; 37(3).
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    ABSTRACT: We are investigating spectroscopic devices designed to make in vivo cervical tissue measurements to detect pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions. All devices have the same design and ideally should record identical measurements. However, we observed consistent differences among them. An experiment was designed to study the sources of variation in the measurements recorded. Here we present a log additive statistical model that incorporates the sources of variability we identified. Based on this model, we estimated correction factors from the experimental data needed to eliminate the inter-device variability and other sources of variation. These correction factors are intended to improve the accuracy and repeatability of such devices when making future measurements on patient tissue.
    Optics Express 04/2014; 22(7):7617-24. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autofluorescence (AF) imaging can provide valuable information about the structural and metabolic state of tissue that can be useful for elucidating physiological and pathological processes. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides high resolution detailed information about tissue morphology. We present coregistered AF-OCT imaging of human lung sections. Adjacent hematoxylin and eosin stained histological sections are used to identify tissue structures observed in the OCT images. Segmentation of these structures in the OCT images allowed determination of relative AF intensities of human lung components. Since the AF imaging was performed on tissue sections perpendicular to the airway axis, the results show the AF signal originating from the airway wall components free from the effects of scattering and absorption by overlying layers as is the case during endoscopic imaging. Cartilage and dense connective tissue (DCT) are found to be the dominant fluorescing components with the average cartilage AF intensity about four times greater than that of DCT. The epithelium, lamina propria, and loose connective tissue near basement membrane generate an order of magnitude smaller AF signal than the cartilage fluorescence.
    Journal of Biomedical Optics 03/2014; 19(3):36022. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dysplastic progression in epithelial tissues is linked to changes in morphology and internal structure of cell nuclei. These changes lead to alterations in nuclear light scattering profiles that can potentially be monitored for diagnostic purposes. Numerical tools allow for simulation of complex nuclear models and are particularly useful for quantifying the optical response of cell nuclei as dysplasia progresses. In this study, we first analyze a set of quantitative histopathology images from twenty cervical biopsy sections stained with Feulgen-thionin. Since Feulgen-thionin is stoichiometric for DNA, the images enable us to obtain detailed information on size, shape, and chromatin content of all the segmented nuclei. We use this extensive data set to construct realistic three-dimensional computational models of cervical cell nuclei that are representative of four diagnostic categories, namely normal or negative for dysplasia, mild dysplasia, moderate dysplasia, and severe dysplasia or carcinoma in situ (CIS). We then carry out finite-difference time-domain simulations to compute the light scattering response of the constructed models as a function of the polar scattering angle and the azimuthal scattering angle. The results show that these two-dimensional scattering patterns exhibit characteristic intensity ridges that change form with progression of dysplasia; pattern processing reveals that Haralick features can be used to distinguish moderately and severely dysplastic or CIS nuclei from normal and mildly dysplastic nuclei. Our numerical study also suggests that different angular ranges need to be considered separately to fully exploit the diagnostic potential of two-dimensional light scattering measurements.
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    ABSTRACT: New imaging technologies are changing the field of digital pathology. This field faces numerous challenges and there is a pressing need for standardization, calibration protocols, quality control and quantitative assessment. We have designed a new calibration imaging slide (Cancer Imaging Slide), specifically to measure the characteristics of old or new imaging systems or scanners. The layout of the slide consists of 138 boxes with the side length of 1.6 mm, containing objects of known morphologic and photometric characteristics. Among them, 112 boxes contain different permutations of circles, ovals, and squares. The circles have different radii, radius/pitch ratios and step transmissions. The ovals have different sizes and orientations. The squares are consistent in size and orientation but have different step transmission values. Also, 16 boxes contain three resolution test targets: crosses, USAF target and Siemens star. The last 10 boxes are blank boxes with different transmission values. Four slides were scanned and imaged on one commercial whole-slide scanner and one high resolution imaging system. After segmenting the images, about 200 features (photometric, morphologic and architectural) were measured with our in-house image processing software. The objective of the project is to develop a statistical process control using this new slide. In this paper, we describe the characteristics of the slide and present our preliminary results.
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    ABSTRACT: The objective was to develop an automated optical coherence tomography (OCT) segmentation method. We evaluated three ex-vivo porcine airway specimens; six non-sequential OCT images were selected from each airway specimen. Histology was also performed for each airway and histology images were co-registered to OCT images for comparison. Manual segmentation of the airway luminal area, mucosa area, submucosa area and the outer airway wall area were performed for histology and OCT images. Automated segmentation of OCT images employed a despecking filter for pre-processing, a hessian-based filter for lumen and outer airway wall area segmentation, and K-means clustering for mucosa and submucosa area segmentation. Bland-Altman analysis indicated that there was very little bias between automated OCT segmentation and histology measurements for the airway lumen area (bias=-6%, 95% CI=-21%-8%), mucosa area, (bias=-4%, 95% CI=-14%-5%), submucosa area (bias=7%, 95% CI=-7%-20%) and outer airway wall area segmentation results (bias=-5%, 95% CI=-14%-5%). We also compared automated and manual OCT segmentation and Bland-Altman analysis indicated that there was negligible bias between luminal area (bias=4%, 95% CI=1%-8%), mucosa area (bias=-3%, 95% CI=-6%-1%), submucosa area (bias=-2%, 95% CI=-10%-6%) and the outer airway wall (bias=-3%, 95% CI=-13%-6%). The automated segmentation method for OCT airway imaging developed here allows for accurate and precise segmentation of the airway wall components, suggesting that translation of this method to in vivo human airway analysis would allow for longitudinal and serial studies.
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    ABSTRACT: We use an extensive set of quantitative histopathology data to construct realistic three-dimensional models of normal and dysplastic cervical cell nuclei at different epithelial depths. We then employ the finite-difference time-domain method to numerically simulate the light scattering response of these representative models as a function of the polar and azimuthal scattering angles. The results indicate that intensity and shape metrics computed from two-dimensional scattering patterns can be used to distinguish between different diagnostic categories. Our numerical study also suggests that different epithelial layers and angular ranges need to be considered separately to fully exploit the diagnostic potential of two-dimensional light scattering measurements.
    Biomedical Optics Express 02/2014; 5(2):485-98. · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Formalin-fixed tissue has been a mainstay of clinical pathology laboratories, but formalin alters many biomolecules, including nucleic acids and proteins. Meanwhile, frozen tissues contain better-preserved biomolecules, but tissue morphology is affected, limiting their diagnostic utility. Molecular fixatives promise to bridge this gap by simultaneously preserving morphology and biomolecules, enabling clinical diagnosis and molecular analyses on the same specimen. While previous reports have broadly evaluated the use of molecular fixative in various human tissues, we present here the first detailed assessment of the applicability of molecular fixative to both routine histopathological diagnosis and molecular analysis of cervical tissues. Ten specimens excised via the Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure, which removes conical tissue samples from the cervix, were cut into alternating pieces preserved in either formalin or molecular fixative. Cervical specimens preserved in molecular fixative were easily interpretable, despite featuring more eosinophilic cytoplasm and more recognizable chromatin texture than formalin-fixed specimens. Immunohistochemical staining patterns of p16 and Ki-67 were similar between fixatives, although Ki-67 staining was stronger in the molecular fixative specimens. The RNA of molecular fixative specimens from seven cases representing various dysplasia grades was assessed for utility in expression microarray analysis. Cluster analysis and scatter plots of duplicate samples suggest that data of sufficient quality can be obtained from as little as 50ng of RNA from molecular fixative samples. Taken together, our results show that molecular fixative may be a more versatile substitute for formalin, simultaneously preserving tissue morphology for clinical diagnosis and biomolecules for immunohistochemistry and gene expression analysis.
    Experimental and Molecular Pathology 01/2014; · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression by preventing the translation of specific mRNA transcripts. Recent studies have shown that miRNAs are stably expressed in human serum samples, making them good candidates for the non-invasive detection of disease. However, before circulating miRNAs can be used reliably as biomarkers of disease, the pre-measurement variables that may affect serum miRNA levels must be assessed.
    BMC Clinical Pathology 01/2014; 14:27.
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoke is associated with the majority of lung cancers: however, 25% of lung cancer patients are non-smokers, and half of all newly diagnosed lung cancer patients are former smokers. Lung tumors exhibit distinct epidemiological, clinical, pathological, and molecular features depending on smoking status, suggesting divergent mechanisms underlie tumorigenesis in smokers and non-smokers. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are integral contributors to tumorigenesis and mediate biological responses to smoking. Based on the hypothesis that smoking-specific miRNA differences in lung adenocarcinomas reflect distinct tumorigenic processes selected by different smoking and non-smoking environments, we investigated the contribution of miRNA disruption to lung tumor biology and patient outcome in the context of smoking status.
    BMC Cancer 01/2014; 14(1):778. · 3.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this work we present a fiber-based polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) system implemented with pass components. Images acquired ex-vivo from chicken breast are presented to verify the performance of the proposed system.
    Biomedical Optics; 01/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is highly disrupted in response to cigarette smoke and involved in a wide spectrum of malignant and non-malignant diseases, but surprisingly not previously assessed in small airways of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Small airways are the primary sites of airflow obstruction in COPD. We sought to determine whether DNA methylation patterns are disrupted in small airway epithelia of COPD patients, and evaluate whether changes in gene expression are associated with these disruptions. Methods: Genome-wide methylation and gene expression analysis were performed on small airway epithelial DNA and RNA obtained from the same patient during bronchoscopy, using Illumina's Infinium HM27 and Affymetrix's Genechip Human Gene 1.0 ST arrays. To control for known effects of cigarette smoking on DNA methylation, methylation and gene expression profiles were compared between former smokers (FS) with and without COPD matched for age, pack years and years of smoking cessation. Results: Our results indicate that aberrant DNA methylation is i) a genome-wide phenomenon in small airways of patients with COPD and ii) associated with altered expression of genes and pathways important to COPD, such as the Nrf2 oxidative response pathway. Conclusions: DNA methylation is likely an important mechanism contributing to modulation of genes important to COPD pathology. Since these methylation events may underlie disease-specific gene-expression changes, their characterization is a critical first step towards the development of epigenetic markers and an opportunity for developing novel epigenetic therapeutic interventions for COPD.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 12/2013; · 4.15 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

6k Citations
914.77 Total Impact Points


  • 1988–2014
    • BC Cancer Research Centre
      • Integrative Oncology Department
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      • • Cell and Developmental Biology (CELL)
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
      • • Division of Respiratory Medicine
      • • Department of Dermatology and Skin Science
      • • Faculty of Medicine
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2013
    • University of Santiago, Chile
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago Metropolitan, Chile
    • Second University of Naples
      Caserta, Campania, Italy
  • 1991–2013
    • BC Cancer Agency
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2012
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2002–2012
    • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
      • • Department of Behavioral Science
      • • Biomedical Engineering
      • • Department of Gynecologic Oncology
      Houston, TX, United States
    • University of Western Australia
      Perth City, Western Australia, Australia
  • 2009
    • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
      • Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research
      Dallas, TX, United States
  • 2003–2008
    • Rice University
      • • Department of Chemistry
      • • Department of Statistics
      Houston, TX, United States
  • 2006
    • Eastern Mediterranean University
      • Department of Physics
      Famagusta, Famagusta District, Cyprus
    • Vancouver General Hospital
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2002–2006
    • University of Texas at Austin
      • • Department of Biomedical Engineering
      • • Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
      Texas City, TX, United States
  • 2005
    • The International Society for Optics and Photonics
      International Falls, Minnesota, United States
  • 2004
    • Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre
      Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 1994
    • University of Guelph
      • College of Biological Science
      Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • 1992
    • The University of Manchester
      Manchester, England, United Kingdom