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Title: Deep Convolutional Neural Network with Transfer Learning for Rectum Toxicity Prediction in Cervical Cancer Radiotherapy: A Feasibility Study
Better understanding of the dose-toxicity relationship is critical for safe dose escalation to improve local control in late-stage cervical cancer radiotherapy. In this study, we introduced a convolutional neural network (CNN) model to analyze rectum dose distribution and predict rectum toxicity. Forty-two cervical cancer patients treated with combined external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and brachytherapy (BT) were retrospectively collected, including twelve toxicity patients and thirty non-toxicity patients. We adopted a transfer learning strategy to overcome the limited patient data issue. A 16-layers CNN developed by the visual geometry group (VGG-16) of the University of Oxford was pre-trained on a large-scale natural image database, ImageNet, and fine-tuned with patient rectum surface dose maps (RSDMs), which were accumulated EBRT + BT doses on the unfolded rectum surface. We used the adaptive synthetic sampling approach and the data augmentation method to address the two challenges, data imbalance and data scarcity. The gradient-weighted class activation maps (Grad-CAM) were also generated to highlight the discriminative regions on the RSDM along with the prediction model. We compare different CNN coefficients fine-tuning strategies, and compare the predictive performance using the traditional dose volume parameters, e.g. D 0.1/1/2cc, and the texture features extracted from the RSDM. Satisfactory prediction performance more » was achieved with the proposed scheme, and we found that the mean Grad-CAM over the toxicity patient group has geometric consistence of distribution with the statistical analysis result, which indicates possible rectum toxicity location. The evaluation results have demonstrated the feasibility of building a CNN-based rectum dose-toxicity prediction model with transfer learning for cervical cancer radiotherapy. « less
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Physics in medicine and biology
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
8246 - 8263
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Purpose To develop a method of biologically guided deep learning for post-radiation 18 FDG-PET image outcome prediction based on pre-radiation images and radiotherapy dose information. Methods Based on the classic reaction–diffusion mechanism, a novel biological model was proposed using a partial differential equation that incorporates spatial radiation dose distribution as a patient-specific treatment information variable. A 7-layer encoder–decoder-based convolutional neural network (CNN) was designed and trained to learn the proposed biological model. As such, the model could generate post-radiation 18 FDG-PET image outcome predictions with breakdown biological components for enhanced explainability. The proposed method was developed using 64 oropharyngeal patients with paired 18 FDG-PET studies before and after 20-Gy delivery (2 Gy/day fraction) by intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). In a two-branch deep learning execution, the proposed CNN learns specific terms in the biological model from paired 18 FDG-PET images and spatial dose distribution in one branch, and the biological model generates post-20-Gy 18 FDG-PET image prediction in the other branch. As in 2D execution, 718/233/230 axial slices from 38/13/13 patients were used for training/validation/independent test. The prediction image results in test cases were compared with the ground-truth results quantitatively. Results The proposed method successfully generated post-20-Gy 18 FDG-PET image outcome predictionmore »with breakdown illustrations of biological model components. Standardized uptake value (SUV) mean values in 18 FDG high-uptake regions of predicted images (2.45 ± 0.25) were similar to ground-truth results (2.51 ± 0.33). In 2D-based Gamma analysis, the median/mean Gamma Index (<1) passing rate of test images was 96.5%/92.8% using the 5%/5 mm criterion; such result was improved to 99.9%/99.6% when 10%/10 mm was adopted. Conclusion The developed biologically guided deep learning method achieved post-20-Gy 18 FDG-PET image outcome predictions in good agreement with ground-truth results. With the breakdown biological modeling components, the outcome image predictions could be used in adaptive radiotherapy decision-making to optimize personalized plans for the best outcome in the future.« less
  2. Better knowledge of the dose-toxicity relationship is essential for safe dose escalation to improve local control in cervical cancer radiotherapy. The conventional dose-toxicity model is based on the dose volume histogram, which is the parameter lacking spatial dose information. To overcome this limit, we explore a comprehensive rectal dose-toxicity model based on both dose volume histogram and dose map features for accurate radiation toxicity prediction.
  3. Obeid, I. (Ed.)
    The Neural Engineering Data Consortium (NEDC) is developing the Temple University Digital Pathology Corpus (TUDP), an open source database of high-resolution images from scanned pathology samples [1], as part of its National Science Foundation-funded Major Research Instrumentation grant titled “MRI: High Performance Digital Pathology Using Big Data and Machine Learning” [2]. The long-term goal of this project is to release one million images. We have currently scanned over 100,000 images and are in the process of annotating breast tissue data for our first official corpus release, v1.0.0. This release contains 3,505 annotated images of breast tissue including 74 patients with cancerous diagnoses (out of a total of 296 patients). In this poster, we will present an analysis of this corpus and discuss the challenges we have faced in efficiently producing high quality annotations of breast tissue. It is well known that state of the art algorithms in machine learning require vast amounts of data. Fields such as speech recognition [3], image recognition [4] and text processing [5] are able to deliver impressive performance with complex deep learning models because they have developed large corpora to support training of extremely high-dimensional models (e.g., billions of parameters). Other fields that do notmore »have access to such data resources must rely on techniques in which existing models can be adapted to new datasets [6]. A preliminary version of this breast corpus release was tested in a pilot study using a baseline machine learning system, ResNet18 [7], that leverages several open-source Python tools. The pilot corpus was divided into three sets: train, development, and evaluation. Portions of these slides were manually annotated [1] using the nine labels in Table 1 [8] to identify five to ten examples of pathological features on each slide. Not every pathological feature is annotated, meaning excluded areas can include focuses particular to these labels that are not used for training. A summary of the number of patches within each label is given in Table 2. To maintain a balanced training set, 1,000 patches of each label were used to train the machine learning model. Throughout all sets, only annotated patches were involved in model development. The performance of this model in identifying all the patches in the evaluation set can be seen in the confusion matrix of classification accuracy in Table 3. The highest performing labels were background, 97% correct identification, and artifact, 76% correct identification. A correlation exists between labels with more than 6,000 development patches and accurate performance on the evaluation set. Additionally, these results indicated a need to further refine the annotation of invasive ductal carcinoma (“indc”), inflammation (“infl”), nonneoplastic features (“nneo”), normal (“norm”) and suspicious (“susp”). This pilot experiment motivated changes to the corpus that will be discussed in detail in this poster presentation. To increase the accuracy of the machine learning model, we modified how we addressed underperforming labels. One common source of error arose with how non-background labels were converted into patches. Large areas of background within other labels were isolated within a patch resulting in connective tissue misrepresenting a non-background label. In response, the annotation overlay margins were revised to exclude benign connective tissue in non-background labels. Corresponding patient reports and supporting immunohistochemical stains further guided annotation reviews. The microscopic diagnoses given by the primary pathologist in these reports detail the pathological findings within each tissue site, but not within each specific slide. The microscopic diagnoses informed revisions specifically targeting annotated regions classified as cancerous, ensuring that the labels “indc” and “dcis” were used only in situations where a micropathologist diagnosed it as such. Further differentiation of cancerous and precancerous labels, as well as the location of their focus on a slide, could be accomplished with supplemental immunohistochemically (IHC) stained slides. When distinguishing whether a focus is a nonneoplastic feature versus a cancerous growth, pathologists employ antigen targeting stains to the tissue in question to confirm the diagnosis. For example, a nonneoplastic feature of usual ductal hyperplasia will display diffuse staining for cytokeratin 5 (CK5) and no diffuse staining for estrogen receptor (ER), while a cancerous growth of ductal carcinoma in situ will have negative or focally positive staining for CK5 and diffuse staining for ER [9]. Many tissue samples contain cancerous and non-cancerous features with morphological overlaps that cause variability between annotators. The informative fields IHC slides provide could play an integral role in machine model pathology diagnostics. Following the revisions made on all the annotations, a second experiment was run using ResNet18. Compared to the pilot study, an increase of model prediction accuracy was seen for the labels indc, infl, nneo, norm, and null. This increase is correlated with an increase in annotated area and annotation accuracy. Model performance in identifying the suspicious label decreased by 25% due to the decrease of 57% in the total annotated area described by this label. A summary of the model performance is given in Table 4, which shows the new prediction accuracy and the absolute change in error rate compared to Table 3. The breast tissue subset we are developing includes 3,505 annotated breast pathology slides from 296 patients. The average size of a scanned SVS file is 363 MB. The annotations are stored in an XML format. A CSV version of the annotation file is also available which provides a flat, or simple, annotation that is easy for machine learning researchers to access and interface to their systems. Each patient is identified by an anonymized medical reference number. Within each patient’s directory, one or more sessions are identified, also anonymized to the first of the month in which the sample was taken. These sessions are broken into groupings of tissue taken on that date (in this case, breast tissue). A deidentified patient report stored as a flat text file is also available. Within these slides there are a total of 16,971 total annotated regions with an average of 4.84 annotations per slide. Among those annotations, 8,035 are non-cancerous (normal, background, null, and artifact,) 6,222 are carcinogenic signs (inflammation, nonneoplastic and suspicious,) and 2,714 are cancerous labels (ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive ductal carcinoma in situ.) The individual patients are split up into three sets: train, development, and evaluation. Of the 74 cancerous patients, 20 were allotted for both the development and evaluation sets, while the remain 34 were allotted for train. The remaining 222 patients were split up to preserve the overall distribution of labels within the corpus. This was done in hope of creating control sets for comparable studies. Overall, the development and evaluation sets each have 80 patients, while the training set has 136 patients. In a related component of this project, slides from the Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) Biosample Repository ( -facility) are being digitized in addition to slides provided by Temple University Hospital. This data includes 18 different types of tissue including approximately 38.5% urinary tissue and 16.5% gynecological tissue. These slides and the metadata provided with them are already anonymized and include diagnoses in a spreadsheet with sample and patient ID. We plan to release over 13,000 unannotated slides from the FCCC Corpus simultaneously with v1.0.0 of TUDP. Details of this release will also be discussed in this poster. Few digitally annotated databases of pathology samples like TUDP exist due to the extensive data collection and processing required. The breast corpus subset should be released by November 2021. By December 2021 we should also release the unannotated FCCC data. We are currently annotating urinary tract data as well. We expect to release about 5,600 processed TUH slides in this subset. We have an additional 53,000 unprocessed TUH slides digitized. Corpora of this size will stimulate the development of a new generation of deep learning technology. In clinical settings where resources are limited, an assistive diagnoses model could support pathologists’ workload and even help prioritize suspected cancerous cases. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This material is supported by the National Science Foundation under grants nos. CNS-1726188 and 1925494. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. REFERENCES [1] N. Shawki et al., “The Temple University Digital Pathology Corpus,” in Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology: Emerging Trends in Research and Applications, 1st ed., I. Obeid, I. Selesnick, and J. Picone, Eds. New York City, New York, USA: Springer, 2020, pp. 67 104. [2] J. Picone, T. Farkas, I. Obeid, and Y. Persidsky, “MRI: High Performance Digital Pathology Using Big Data and Machine Learning.” Major Research Instrumentation (MRI), Division of Computer and Network Systems, Award No. 1726188, January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2021. https://www. [3] A. Gulati et al., “Conformer: Convolution-augmented Transformer for Speech Recognition,” in Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH), 2020, pp. 5036-5040. [4] C.-J. Wu et al., “Machine Learning at Facebook: Understanding Inference at the Edge,” in Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA), 2019, pp. 331–344. [5] I. Caswell and B. Liang, “Recent Advances in Google Translate,” Google AI Blog: The latest from Google Research, 2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 01-Aug-2021]. [6] V. Khalkhali, N. Shawki, V. Shah, M. Golmohammadi, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “Low Latency Real-Time Seizure Detection Using Transfer Deep Learning,” in Proceedings of the IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB), 2021, pp. 1 7. https://www.isip. [7] J. Picone, T. Farkas, I. Obeid, and Y. Persidsky, “MRI: High Performance Digital Pathology Using Big Data and Machine Learning,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2020. [8] I. Hunt, S. Husain, J. Simons, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “Recent Advances in the Temple University Digital Pathology Corpus,” in Proceedings of the IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB), 2019, pp. 1–4. [9] A. P. Martinez, C. Cohen, K. Z. Hanley, and X. (Bill) Li, “Estrogen Receptor and Cytokeratin 5 Are Reliable Markers to Separate Usual Ductal Hyperplasia From Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia and Low-Grade Ductal Carcinoma In Situ,” Arch. Pathol. Lab. Med., vol. 140, no. 7, pp. 686–689, Apr. 2016.« less
  4. The classification of Antibody Mediated Rejection (AMR) in kidney transplant remains challenging even for experienced nephropathologists; this is partly because histological tissue stain analysis is often characterized by low inter-observer agreement and poor reproducibility. One of the implicated causes for inter-observer disagreement is the variability of tissue stain quality between (and within) pathology labs, coupled with the gradual fading of archival sections. Variations in stain colors and intensities can make tissue evaluation difficult for pathologists, ultimately affecting their ability to describe relevant morphological features. Being able to accurately predict the AMR status based on kidney histology images is crucial for improving patient treatment and care. We propose a novel pipeline to build robust deep neural networks for AMR classification based on StyPath, a histological data augmentation technique that leverages a light weight style-transfer algorithm as a means to reduce sample-specific bias. Each image was generated in 1.84 ± 0.03 s using a single GTX TITAN V gpu and pytorch, making it faster than other popular histological data augmentation techniques. We evaluated our model using a Monte Carlo (MC) estimate of Bayesian performance and generate an epistemic measure of uncertainty to compare both the baseline and StyPath augmented models. We alsomore »generated Grad-CAM representations of the results which were assessed by an experienced nephropathologist; we used this qualitative analysis to elucidate on the assumptions being made by each model. Our results imply that our style-transfer augmentation technique improves histological classification performance (reducing error from 14.8% to 11.5%) and generalization ability.« less
  5. Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) causes progressive irreversible cognitive decline and is the leading cause of dementia. Therefore, a timely diagnosis is imperative to maximize neurological preservation. However, current treatments are either too costly or limited in availability. In this project, we explored using retinal vasculature as a potential biomarker for early AD diagnosis. This project focuses on stage 3 of a three-stage modular machine learning pipeline which consisted of image quality selection, vessel map generation, and classification [1]. The previous model only used support vector machine (SVM) to classify AD labels which limited its accuracy to 82%. In this project, random forest and gradient boosting were added and, along with SVM, combined into an ensemble classifier, raising the classification accuracy to 89%. Materials and Methods: Subjects classified as AD were those who were diagnosed with dementia in “Dementia Outcome: Alzheimer’s disease” from the UK Biobank Electronic Health Records. Five control groups were chosen with a 5:1 ratio of control to AD patients where the control patients had the same age, gender, and eye side image as the AD patient. In total, 122 vessel images from each group (AD and control) were used. The vessel maps were then segmented from fundusmore »images through U-net. A t-test feature selection was first done on the training folds and the selected features was fed into the classifiers with a p-value threshold of 0.01. Next, 20 repetitions of 5-fold cross validation were performed where the hyperparameters were solely tuned on the training data. An ensemble classifier consisting of SVM, gradient boosting tree, and random forests was built and the final prediction was made through majority voting and evaluated on the test set. Results and Discussion: Through ensemble classification, accuracy increased by 4-12% relative to the individual classifiers, precision by 9-15%, sensitivity by 2-9%, specificity by at least 9-16%, and F1 score by 712%. Conclusions: Overall, a relatively high classification accuracy was achieved using machine learning ensemble classification with SVM, random forest, and gradient boosting. Although the results are very promising, a limitation of this study is that the requirement of needing images of sufficient quality decreased the amount of control parameters that can be implemented. However, through retinal vasculature analysis, this project shows machine learning’s high potential to be an efficient, more cost-effective alternative to diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. Clinical Application: Using machine learning for AD diagnosis through retinal images will make screening available for a broader population by being more accessible and cost-efficient. Mobile device based screening can also be enabled at primary screening in resource-deprived regions. It can provide a pathway for future understanding of the association between biomarkers in the eye and brain.« less