DEMoS: a deep learning-based ensemble approach for predicting the molecular subtypes of gastric adenocarcinomas from histopathological images

Yanan Wang, Changyuan Hu, Terry Kwok, Christopher A. Bain, Xiangyang Xue, Robin B. Gasser, Geoffrey I. Webb, Alex Boussioutas, Shen Xian, Roger J. Daly, Jiangning Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


MOTIVATION: The molecular subtyping of gastric cancer (adenocarcinoma) into four main subtypes based on integrated multiomics profiles, as proposed by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) initiative, represents an effective strategy for patient stratification. However, this approach requires the use of multiple technological platforms, and is quite expensive and time-consuming to perform. A computational approach that uses histopathological image data to infer molecular subtypes could be a practical, cost- and time-efficient complementary tool for prognostic and clinical management purposes. RESULTS: Here, we propose a deep learning ensemble approach (called DEMoS) capable of predicting the four recognized molecular subtypes of gastric cancer directly from histopathological images. DEMoS achieved tile-level area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUROC) values of 0.785, 0.668, 0.762 and 0.811 for the prediction of these four subtypes of gastric cancer [i.e. (i) Epstein-Barr (EBV)-infected, (ii) microsatellite instability (MSI), (iii) genomically stable (GS) and (iv) chromosomally unstable tumors (CIN)] using an independent test dataset, respectively. At the patient-level, it achieved AUROC values of 0.897, 0.764, 0.890 and 0.898, respectively. Thus, these four subtypes are well-predicted by DEMoS. Benchmarking experiments further suggest that DEMoS is able to achieve an improved classification performance for image-based subtyping and prevent model overfitting. This study highlights the feasibility of using a deep learning ensemble-based method to rapidly and reliably subtype gastric cancer (adenocarcinoma) solely using features from histopathological images. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: All whole slide images used in this study was collected from the TCGA database. This study builds upon our previously published HEAL framework, with related documentation and tutorials available at The source code and related models are freely accessible at SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4206-4213
Number of pages8
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2022

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