Deep-Learning-Based Auto-Segmentation for Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) in Cervical Cancer Radiation Therapy

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Background: Cervical cancer is a common gynecological malignancy among women worldwide. Among the primary modalities for treating cervical cancer, radiation therapy occupies a central role. Using Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scans obtained prior to treatment for target registration and alignment holds critical significance for precision radiation therapy. Accurately contouring targets and critical-organs-at risk (OARs) is the most time-consuming task for radiation oncologists. The OAR contouring in CBCT plays a crucial role in the radiotherapy of cervical cancer. Specifically, the location and volume of the rectum and bladder can significantly impact the precision of cervical cancer treatment, as the patients need to drink certain amount of water to fill the bladder prior to the treatment for target localization. The resulting change in position of rectum and bladder may lead to alterations in the target dose. Further, changes in radiation dose to these two OARs can directly affect the severity of the acute and late radiation induced damage. Therefore, the OAR contouring not only allows for better localization before each radiotherapy session, but also provides valuable reference for clinicians when they need to adjust the treatment plan.Purpose: The objective of this study is to evaluate the capabilities of four deep-learning models for contouring OARs in CBCT images of cervical cancer patients. Materials and Methods: The study dataset comprising 40 sets of CBCT images were collected from the Fujian Provincial Cancer Hospital in China. Two experienced radiation oncologists meticulously delineated 10 groups of OARs (Body, Bladder, Bone Marrow, Bowel Bag, Femoral Head L, Femoral Head R, Femoral Head and Neck L, Femoral Head and Neck R, Rectum, Spinal Canal) on the CBCT images as reference/ground truth. Subsequently, the 24 sets of CBCT reference were used to train the CBCT model, and the unedited CBCT images of the remaining 16 sets were used for comparing with their reference to test the four models. The only difference between these four models is the adoption of different neural network structures. They are classic U-Net, Flex U-Net, Attention U-Net (ATT), and SegResNet respectively. The evaluation of contouring quality for the four models was performed using the metrics such as 95 percentile Hausdorff Distance (HD95), Dice Similarity Coefficient (DICE), Average Symmetric Surface Distance (ASSD), Maximum Symmetric Surface Distance (MSSD), and Relative Absolute Volume Difference (RAVD), respectively. Results: The average DICE was 0.86 for bladder contouring among four models. The average DICE for rectum on CBCT image was 0.84 for four models. Conclusion: According to the quantitative analysis, classic U-Net neural network architecture with minor adjustments can obtain competitive segmentation on CBCT images.






Wu, Yuduo (2024). Deep-Learning-Based Auto-Segmentation for Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) in Cervical Cancer Radiation Therapy. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from


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