Classification of cellular malignancy associated changes in cervical cancer

Cindy Ma, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Cervical cancer is the leading cause of death and disease from malignant neoplasms among women in developing countries. Even though the Pap smear has significantly decreased the number of deaths from cervical cancer in the past years, it has its limitations. Researchers have developed an automated screening machine which can potentially detect abnormal cases that are overlooked by conventional screening. The goal of quantitative cytology is to classify the patient's tissue sample based on quantitative measurements of the individual cells. It is also much cheaper and potentially can take less time. One of the major challenges of collecting cells with a cytobrush is the possibility of not sampling any existing dysplastic cells on the cervix. Being able to correctly classify patients who have disease without the presence of dysplastic cells could improve the accuracy of quantitative cytology algorithms. Subtle morphologic changes in normal-appearing tissues adjacent to or distant from malignant tumors have been shown to exist, but a comparison of various statistical methods, including many recent advances in the statistical learning field, has not previously been done. The objective of this thesis is to use different classification methods applied to quantitative cytology data for the detection of malignancy associated changes (MACs). In this thesis, Elastic Net is the best algorithm. When we applied the Elastic Net algorithm to the test set, we combined the training set and validation set as "training" set and used 5-fold cross validation to choose the parameter for Elastic Net. It has a sensitivity of 47% at 80% specificity, an AUC 0.52, and a partial AUC 0.10 (95% CI 0.09-0.11).

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Recommended Citation

Ma, Cindy, "Classification of cellular malignancy associated changes in cervical cancer" (2013). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1544293.