Automated segmentation of endometrial cancer on MR images using deep learning
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Preoperative MR imaging in endometrial cancer patients provides valuable information on local tumor extent, which routinely guides choice of surgical procedure and adjuvant therapy. Furthermore, whole-volume tumor analyses of MR images may provide radiomic tumor signatures potentially relevant for better individualization and optimization of treatment. We apply a convolutional neural network for automatic tumor segmentation in endometrial cancer patients, enabling automated extraction of tumor texture parameters and tumor volume. The network was trained, validated and tested on a cohort of 139 endometrial cancer patients based on preoperative pelvic imaging. The algorithm was able to retrieve tumor volumes comparable to human expert level (likelihood-ratio test, p=0.06). The network was also able to provide a set of segmentation masks with human agreement not different from inter-rater agreement of human experts (Wilcoxon signed rank test, p=0.08, p=0.60, and p=0.05). An automatic tool for tumor segmentation in endometrial cancer patients enables automated extraction of tumor volume and whole-volume tumor texture features. This approach represents a promising method for automatic radiomic tumor profiling with potential relevance for better prognostication and individualization of therapeutic strategy in endometrial cancer.