Tissue spatial correlation as cancer marker

Masanori Takabayashi, Hassaan Majeed, Andre Kajdacsy-Balla, Gabriel Popescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose an intrinsic cancer marker in fixed tissue biopsy slides, which is based on the local spatial autocorrelation length obtained from quantitative phase images. The spatial autocorrelation length in a small region of the tissue phase image is sensitive to the nanoscale cellular morphological alterations and can hence inform on carcinogenesis. Therefore, this metric can potentially be used as an intrinsic cancer marker in histopathology. Typically, these correlation length maps are calculated by computing two-dimensional Fourier transforms over image subregions - requiring long computational times. We propose a more time-efficient method of computing the correlation map and demonstrate its value for diagnosis of benign and malignant breast tissues. Our methodology is based on highly sensitive quantitative phase imaging data obtained by spatial light interference microscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016502
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • biopsy slide diagnosis
  • breast cancer
  • quantitative phase imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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