Title: Mapping spatial heterogeneity in cancers to understand diverse disease outcomes
Dr Anita Grigoriadis, King's College London and Dr Lucy Yates, Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge
Breast cancers are complex ecosystems composed of diverse neoplastic, stromal and immune populations. The interaction between cancer cells and their tumour microenvironment (TME) is a critical determinant of clinical outcome. The emergence of spatial technologies such as digital pathology and spatial transcriptomics opens up the possibility for a wide range of critical scientific questions to be addressed in actual patient samples.
The two talks at this Pathological Society grand round will provide insights into two approaches that use spatial information to understand cancer outcomes. In the first talk, Dr Anita Grigoriadis illustrates how morphological features in lymph nodes can be captured and quantified by deep learning approaches using digitised whole slide images, and demonstrates that these features even in cancer-free lymph nodes carry prognostic relevance for high-risk triple negative breast cancer patients. In the second talk, Dr Lucy Yates, describes how she is building genetic cancer clone maps to understand how individual subclones interact with the TME and how this shapes cancer evolution.