Automatic Scoring of Tumor Buds

Tumor Budding

© Fraunhofer IIS

Tumor budding is an independent predictor of lymph node metastases in pT1 colorectal cancer and predictor of survival in stage II colorectal cancer1.   

Goal: automatic scoring

Partners: joint effort with the Institute of Pathology of the University Hospital Erlangen

Current Status:

  • developed automatic analytics App for an immunohistochemistry staining (pan-cytokeratin – PCK) that is able
  • to detect tumor invasion front
  • to detect tumor buds
  • to detect hot spots and determine low/intermediate/high budding based on cut offs
  • algorithm trained on 40x PCK-stained whole-slides

Database: over 100 whole-slides with over 50.000 annotated tumor buds


  1. Detect tumor bud candidates using classical image processing that evaluates size, color, and distance to tumor
  2. Weed out false positives using a Convolutional Neural Network trained to classify tumor buds


1Lugli et al, Recommendations for reporting tumor budding in colorectal cancer based on the International Tumor Budding Consensus Conference (ITBCC) 2016

Poster presentation at Global Engage blogTumor budding in brightfield immunostained colon sections

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