Utility of mass spectrometry and artificial intelligence for differentiating primary lung adenocarcinoma and colorectal metastatic pulmonary tumor

Thorac Cancer. 2022 Jan;13(2):202-209. doi: 10.1111/1759-7714.14246. Epub 2021 Nov 23.

Abstract

Background: Rapid intraoperative diagnosis for unconfirmed pulmonary tumor is extremely important for determining the optimal surgical procedure (lobectomy or sublobar resection). Attempts to diagnose malignant tumors using mass spectrometry (MS) have recently been described. This study evaluated the usefulness of MS and artificial intelligence (AI) for differentiating primary lung adenocarcinoma (PLAC) and colorectal metastatic pulmonary tumor.

Methods: Pulmonary samples from 40 patients who underwent pulmonary resection for PLAC (20 tumors, 20 normal lungs) or pulmonary metastases originating from colorectal metastatic pulmonary tumor (CRMPT) (20 tumors, 20 normal lungs) were collected and analyzed retrospectively by probe electrospray ionization-MS. AI using random forest (RF) algorithms was employed to evaluate the accuracy of each combination.

Results: The accuracy of the machine learning algorithm applied using RF to distinguish malignant tumor (PLAC or CRMPT) from normal lung was 100%. The algorithms offered 97.2% accuracy in differentiating PLAC and CRMPT.

Conclusions: MS combined with an AI system demonstrated high accuracy not only for differentiating cancer from normal tissue, but also for differentiating between PLAC and CRMPT with a short working time. This method shows potential for application as a support tool facilitating rapid intraoperative diagnosis to determine the surgical procedure for pulmonary resection.

Keywords: mass spectrometry; metastatic pulmonary tumor; pulmonary adenocarcinoma.