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Advances in Radiation Oncology


Purpose: Accurate delineation of the prostate gland and intraprostatic lesions (ILs) is essential for prostate cancer dose-escalated radiation therapy. The aim of this study was to develop a sophisticated deep neural network approach to magnetic resonance image analysis that will help IL detection and delineation for clinicians.

Methods and Materials: We trained and evaluated mask region-based convolutional neural networks to perform the prostate gland and IL segmentation. There were 2 cohorts in this study: 78 public patients (cohort 1) and 42 private patients from our institution (cohort 2). Prostate gland segmentation was performed using T2-weighted images (T2WIs), although IL segmentation was performed using T2WIs and coregistered apparent diffusion coefficient maps with prostate patches cropped out. The IL segmentation model was extended to select 5 highly suspicious volumetric lesions within the entire prostate.

Results: The mask region-based convolutional neural networks model was able to segment the prostate with dice similarity coefficient (DSC) of 0.88 ± 0.04, 0.86 ± 0.04, and 0.82 ± 0.05; sensitivity (Sens.) of 0.93, 0.95, and 0.95; and specificity (Spec.) of 0.98, 0.85, and 0.90. However, ILs were segmented with DSC of 0.62 ± 0.17, 0.59 ± 0.14, and 0.38 ± 0.19; Sens. of 0.55 ± 0.30, 0.63 ± 0.28, and 0.22 ± 0.24; and Spec. of 0.974 ± 0.010, 0.964 ± 0.015, and 0.972 ± 0.015 in public validation/public testing/private testing patients when trained with patients from cohort 1 only. When trained with patients from both cohorts, the values were as follows: DSC of 0.64 ± 0.11, 0.56 ± 0.15, and 0.46 ± 0.15; Sens. of 0.57 ± 0.23, 0.50 ± 0.28, and 0.33 ± 0.17; and Spec. of 0.980 ± 0.009, 0.969 ± 0.016, and 0.977 ± 0.013.

Conclusions: Our research framework is able to perform as an end-to-end system that automatically segmented the prostate gland and identified and delineated highly suspicious ILs within the entire prostate. Therefore, this system demonstrated the potential for assisting the clinicians in tumor delineation.


ePub ahead of print



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