Weakly Supervised Lesion Detection and Diagnosis for Breast Cancers with Partially Annotated Ultrasound Images

by   Jian Wang, et al.

Deep learning (DL) has proven highly effective for ultrasound-based computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) of breast cancers. In an automaticCAD system, lesion detection is critical for the following diagnosis. However, existing DL-based methods generally require voluminous manually-annotated region of interest (ROI) labels and class labels to train both the lesion detection and diagnosis models. In clinical practice, the ROI labels, i.e. ground truths, may not always be optimal for the classification task due to individual experience of sonologists, resulting in the issue of coarse annotation that limits the diagnosis performance of a CAD model. To address this issue, a novel Two-Stage Detection and Diagnosis Network (TSDDNet) is proposed based on weakly supervised learning to enhance diagnostic accuracy of the ultrasound-based CAD for breast cancers. In particular, all the ROI-level labels are considered as coarse labels in the first training stage, and then a candidate selection mechanism is designed to identify optimallesion areas for both the fully and partially annotated samples. It refines the current ROI-level labels in the fully annotated images and the detected ROIs in the partially annotated samples with a weakly supervised manner under the guidance of class labels. In the second training stage, a self-distillation strategy further is further proposed to integrate the detection network and classification network into a unified framework as the final CAD model for joint optimization, which then further improves the diagnosis performance. The proposed TSDDNet is evaluated on a B-mode ultrasound dataset, and the experimental results show that it achieves the best performance on both lesion detection and diagnosis tasks, suggesting promising application potential.


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