Methodology to study the three-dimensional spatial distribution of prostate cancer and their dependence on clinical parameters

Kristians Diaz Rojas, Maria L. Montero, Jorge Yao, Edward Messing, Anees Fazili, Jean Joseph, Yangming Ou, Deborah J. Rubens, Kevin J. Parker, Christos Davatzikos, Benjamin Castaneda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A methodology to study the relationship between clinical variables [e.g., prostate specific antigen (PSA) or Gleason score] and cancer spatial distribution is described. Three-dimensional (3-D) models of 216 glands are reconstructed from digital images of whole mount histopathological slices. The models are deformed into one prostate model selected as an atlas using a combination of rigid, affine, and B-spline deformable registration techniques. Spatial cancer distribution is assessed by counting the number of tumor occurrences among all glands in a given position of the 3-D registered atlas. Finally, a difference between proportions is used to compare different spatial distributions. As a proof of concept, we compare spatial distributions from patients with PSA greater and less than 5 ng/ml and from patients older and younger than 60 years. Results suggest that prostate cancer has a significant difference in the right zone of the prostate between populations with PSA greater and less than 5 ng/ml. Age does not have any impact in the spatial distribution of the disease. The proposed methodology can help to comprehend prostate cancer by understanding its spatial distribution and how it changes according to clinical parameters. Finally, this methodology can be easily adapted to other organs and pathologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number037502
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015


  • image processing
  • prostate cancer
  • prostate specific antigen
  • registration
  • spatial distribution
  • ultrasound


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