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Development of an algorithm for biomedical image analysis of the spatial organization of collagen in breast cancer tissue of patients with different clinical status

et al. Nataliia Lukianova

FEBS Press


Collagen, the main component of the tumor microenvironment, plays a key role in the development of breast cancer (BCa); however, the specific changes in its spatial organization during tumor progression have not been definitively elucidated. The existing and available methods for assessing the morphometric parameters of the stroma's fibrous component are insufficient for a detailed description of the state of collagen fibers and for assessing its changes to evaluate the aggressiveness of the BCa course.

The aim of the work was to develop an algorithm for microphoto analysis to assess the spatial organization of collagen in BCa tissue of patients with different clinical statuses. The study was conducted on 60 tissue samples of stage I-II BCa. The processed images were analyzed using the software packages CurveAlign v4.0 and imagej.

We established that the increase in BCa stage and the decrease in tumor differentiation grade are associated with decreased length, width, and straightness of collagen fibers, as well as their increased density. The formation of an aggressive basal molecular BCa subtype was accompanied by an increase in tumor-stroma ratio.

The obtained results indicate the possibility of practical application of the developed algorithm for evaluating the spatial organization of collagen in BCa tissue to predict the aggressiveness of the disease course.


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