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Gustav Stålhammar, Thonnie Rose O. See, Stephen Phillips, Stefan Seregard, Hans E. Grossniklaus; Digital Image Analysis of BAP-1 Accurately Predicts Uveal Melanoma Metastasis. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(3):11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.3.11.
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Reduced nuclear expression of BRCA1 associated protein 1 (BAP-1) is associated with a high risk for metastasis in uveal melanoma. Manual assessment of the expression level may face issues with interobserver reproducibility. This could be improved with digital image analysis (DIA).
Thirty enucleated eyes with uveal melanoma from the Emory Eye Center (Atlanta, GA; years 2009–2017) were included and stained with BAP-1. Retrospective data on patient and tumor characteristics were retrieved. Patients were randomized to a training or validation cohort. Their tumor sections were digitally scanned and scored for percentage of BAP-1–positive cells with the QuPath Bioimage analysis software.
Interobserver concordance was 75% (Cohen's κ 0.52) with manual BAP-1 scoring and 88% to 94% with DIA (Cohen's κ 0.75–0.88). Positive and negative predictive values for metastasis were 90% and 100% with DIA, 80% and 86% with manual scoring, and 78% and 88% with gene expression class 2. In binary logistic regression, manual and DIA of BAP-1 and gene expression class 2 were associated with metastasis, but none retained significance in multiple regression. Metastasis-free survival was significantly shorter with low BAP-1 expression as defined by DIA (log-rank P = 0.02), but not with manual scoring (log-rank P = 0.36) or with gene expression class 2 (log-rank P = 0.17).
DIA of BAP-1 is a competitive alternative to manual assessment as well as gene expression profiling in prognostication of enucleated specimens with uveal melanoma.
The emerging scope for automatization of qualified diagnostic tasks is applied to uveal melanoma.
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