Quantitative study of ductal breast cancer progression: signatures of nuclei in proliferating breast lesions and in situ cancer.Adv Clin Path. 2000 Apr; 4(2):87-97.AC
The objective of this study is to derive highly specific nuclear signatures (NS's) for the characterization of nuclei of ductal breast epithelium in proliferative lesions and in situ cancers in order to evaluate if nuclear structural changes are able to describe the main events of ductal cancer progression and if the method can be used for objective grading.
A total of 82 different features descriptive of the nuclear chromatin patterns were computed in nuclei from normal glandular breast tissue, florid hyperplasia, and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and of DCIS with microinfiltration. The feature values were arranged to form a profile or signature. Measures of difference to a standard profile derived from normal glandular breast tissue were defined. One may then compute a standardized distance measure for a nucleus from "normal". Lesions can be characterized in the same manner, on the basis of the mean profile for all of their nuclei, and on the basis of the distribution of distances of their constituent nuclei from normal.
The selected histopathologic patterns on which the diagnostic categories for DCIS are based were found to have corresponding distinctive patterns in the chromatin of the lesion's nuclei. A monotonic trend of ductal neoplastic progression was found. In addition, lesions histologically assessed as belonging to the same diagnostic category were found to offer substantially different distribution patterns.
The full utilization of nuclear texture features allows the derivation of highly specific signatures for nuclei so that a reproducible grading can be performed for prognostic purposes.