Automated digital TIL analysis (ADTA) adds prognostic value to standard assessment of depth and ulceration in primary melanoma

Michael R. Moore, Isabel D. Friesner, Emanuelle M. Rizk, Benjamin T. Fullerton, Manas Mondal, Megan H. Trager, Karen Mendelson, Ijeuru Chikeka, Tahsin Kurc, Rajarsi Gupta, Bethany R. Rohr, Eric J. Robinson, Balazs Acs, Rui Chang, Harriet Kluger, Bret Taback, Larisa J. Geskin, Basil Horst, Kevin Gardner, George NiedtJulide T. Celebi, Robyn D. Gartrell-Corrado, Jane Messina, Tammie Ferringer, David L. Rimm, Joel Saltz, Jing Wang, Rami Vanguri, Yvonne M. Saenger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Accurate prognostic biomarkers in early-stage melanoma are urgently needed to stratify patients for clinical trials of adjuvant therapy. We applied a previously developed open source deep learning algorithm to detect tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) images of early-stage melanomas. We tested whether automated digital (TIL) analysis (ADTA) improved accuracy of prediction of disease specific survival (DSS) based on current pathology standards. ADTA was applied to a training cohort (n = 80) and a cutoff value was defined based on a Receiver Operating Curve. ADTA was then applied to a validation cohort (n = 145) and the previously determined cutoff value was used to stratify high and low risk patients, as demonstrated by Kaplan–Meier analysis (p ≤ 0.001). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards analysis was performed using ADTA, depth, and ulceration as co-variables and showed that ADTA contributed to DSS prediction (HR: 4.18, CI 1.51–11.58, p = 0.006). ADTA provides an effective and attainable assessment of TILs and should be further evaluated in larger studies for inclusion in staging algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2809
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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