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posted on 24.01.2022, 05:00 authored by Qiwei Chen, Yue Kuai, Shujing Wang, Xinqing Zhu, Hongyu Wang, Wenlong Liu, Liang Cheng, Deyong Yang

Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) profoundly impacts prognosis and immunotherapy of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). However, not every patient is tested for EMT status because this requires additional genetic studies. In this study, we developed an EMT gene signature to classify the H&E-stained slides from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) into epithelial and mesenchymal subtypes, then we trained a deep convolutional neural network to classify ccRCC which according to our EMT subtypes accurately and automatically and to further predict genomic data and prognosis. The clinical significance and multiomics analysis of the EMT signature was investigated. Patient cohorts from TCGA (n = 252) and whole slide images were used for training, testing, and validation using an algorithm to predict the EMT subtype. Our approach can robustly distinguish features predictive of the EMT subtype in H&E slides. Visualization techniques also detected EMT-associated histopathological features. Moreover, EMT subtypes were characterized by distinctive genomes, metabolic states, and immune components. Deep learning convolutional neural networks could be an extremely useful tool for predicting the EMT molecular classification of ccRCC tissue. The underlying multiomics information can be crucial in applying the appropriate and tailored targeted therapy to the patient.

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