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, 17 (1), 63

A Robust Qualitative Transcriptional Signature for the Correct Pathological Diagnosis of Gastric Cancer


A Robust Qualitative Transcriptional Signature for the Correct Pathological Diagnosis of Gastric Cancer

Haidan Yan et al. J Transl Med.


Background: Currently, pathological examination of gastroscopy biopsy specimens is the gold standard for gastric cancer (GC) diagnosis. However, it has a false-negative rate of 10-20% due to inaccurate sampling locations and/or insufficient sampling amount. A signature should be developed to aid the early diagnosis of GC using biopsy specimens even when they are sampled from inaccurate locations.

Methods: We extracted a robust qualitative transcriptional signature, based on the within-sample relative expression orderings (REOs) of gene pairs, to discriminate both GC tissues and adjacent-normal tissues from non-GC gastritis, intestinal metaplasia and normal gastric tissues.

Results: A signature consisting of two gene pairs for GC diagnosis was identified and validated in data of both biopsy specimens and surgical resection specimens pooled from publicly available datasets measured by different laboratories with different platforms. For gastroscopy biopsy specimens, 96.20% of 79 non-GC tissues were correctly identified as non-GC, and 96.84% of 158 GC tissues and six of seven adjacent-normal tissues were correctly identified as GC. For surgical resection specimens, 98.37% of 2560 GC tissues and 97.28% of 221 adjacent-normal tissues were correctly identified as GC. Especially, 97.67% of the 257 GC patients at stage I were exactly diagnosed as GC. We additionally measured 21 GC tissues from seven different GC patients, each with three specimens sampled from three tumor locations with different proportions of the tumor epithelial cell. All these GC tissues were correctly identified as GC, even when the proportion of the tumor epithelial cell was as low as 14%.

Conclusions: The qualitative transcriptional signature can distinguish both GC and adjacent-normal tissues from normal, gastritis and intestinal metaplasia tissues of non-GC patients even using inaccurately sampled biopsy specimens, which can be applied robustly at the individual level to aid the early GC diagnosis.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Gastric cancer; Gastritis; Gastroscopy biopsy; Signature.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Outline of the processes for developing and validating the GC diagnosis signature
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
The classification accuracy of the top k gene pairs in the training data
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
The receiver characteristic operating curves

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