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Proceedings Paper

Fractal analysis for assessing tumour grade in microscopic images of breast tissue
Author(s): Mauro Tambasco; Meghan Costello; Chris Newcomb; Anthony M. Magliocco
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Paper Abstract

In 2006, breast cancer is expected to continue as the leading form of cancer diagnosed in women, and the second leading cause of cancer mortality in this group. A method that has proven useful for guiding the choice of treatment strategy is the assessment of histological tumor grade. The grading is based upon the mitosis count, nuclear pleomorphism, and tubular formation, and is known to be subject to inter-observer variability. Since cancer grade is one of the most significant predictors of prognosis, errors in grading can affect patient management and outcome. Hence, there is a need to develop a breast cancer-grading tool that is minimally operator dependent to reduce variability associated with the current grading system, and thereby reduce uncertainty that may impact patient outcome. In this work, we explored the potential of a computer-based approach using fractal analysis as a quantitative measure of cancer grade for breast specimens. More specifically, we developed and optimized computational tools to compute the fractal dimension of low- versus high-grade breast sections and found them to be significantly different, 1.3±0.10 versus 1.49±0.10, respectively (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, p<0.001). These results indicate that fractal dimension (a measure of morphologic complexity) may be a useful tool for demarcating low- versus high-grade cancer specimens, and has potential as an objective measure of breast cancer grade. Such prognostic value could provide more sensitive and specific information that would reduce inter-observer variability by aiding the pathologist in grading cancers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 March 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6514, Medical Imaging 2007: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 651422 (30 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.713660
Show Author Affiliations
Mauro Tambasco, Univ. of Calgary and Tom Baker Cancer Ctr. (Canada)
Meghan Costello, Univ. of Calgary and Tom Baker Cancer Ctr. (Canada)
Chris Newcomb, Univ. of Calgary and Tom Baker Cancer Ctr. (Canada)
Anthony M. Magliocco, Univ. of Calgary and Tom Baker Cancer Ctr. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6514:
Medical Imaging 2007: Computer-Aided Diagnosis
Maryellen L. Giger; Nico Karssemeijer, Editor(s)

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