Tumour Ellipsification in Ultrasound Images for Treatment Prediction in Breast Cancer

by   Mehrdad J. Gangeh, et al.

Recent advances in using quantitative ultrasound (QUS) methods have provided a promising framework to non-invasively and inexpensively monitor or predict the effectiveness of therapeutic cancer responses. One of the earliest steps in using QUS methods is contouring a region of interest (ROI) inside the tumour in ultrasound B-mode images. While manual segmentation is a very time-consuming and tedious task for human experts, auto-contouring is also an extremely difficult task for computers due to the poor quality of ultrasound B-mode images. However, for the purpose of cancer response prediction, a rough boundary of the tumour as an ROI is only needed. In this research, a semi-automated tumour localization approach is proposed for ROI estimation in ultrasound B-mode images acquired from patients with locally advanced breast cancer (LABC). The proposed approach comprised several modules, including 1) feature extraction using keypoint descriptors, 2) augmenting the feature descriptors with the distance of the keypoints to the user-input pixel as the centre of the tumour, 3) supervised learning using a support vector machine (SVM) to classify keypoints as "tumour" or "non-tumour", and 4) computation of an ellipse as an outline of the ROI representing the tumour. Experiments with 33 B-mode images from 10 LABC patients yielded promising results with an accuracy of 76.7 results demonstrated that the proposed method can potentially be used as the first stage in a computer-assisted cancer response prediction system for semi-automated contouring of breast tumours.


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