Joint Prediction of Response to Therapy, Molecular Traits, and Spatial Organisation in Colorectal Cancer Biopsies
Wood R., Domingo E., Sirinukunwattana K., Lafarge MW., Koelzer VH., Maughan TS., Rittscher J.
Existing methods for interpretability of model predictions are largely based on technical insights and are not linked to clinical context. We use the question of predicting response to radiotherapy in colorectal cancer patients as an exemplar for developing prediction models that do provide such contextual information and therefore can effectively support clinical decision making. There is a growing body of evidence that about 30% of colorectal cancer patients do not respond to radiotherapy and will need alternative treatment. The consensus molecular subtypes for colorectal cancer (CMS) provide one such approach to categorising patients based on their disease biology. Here we select the CMS4 subtype as a proxy for stromal infiltration. By jointly predicting a patient’s response to radiotherapy, the presence of CMS4, and the epithelial tissue map from morphological features extracted from standard H &E slides we provide a comprehensive clinically relevant assessment of a biopsy. A graph neural network is trained to achieve this joint prediction task, which subsequently provides novel interpretability maps to aid clinicians in their cancer treatment decision making process. Our model is trained and validated on two private rectal cancer datasets.