Nuclear detection, segmentation and morphometric profiling are essential in helping us further understand the relationship between histology and patient outcome. To drive innovation in this area, we setup a community-wide challenge using the largest available dataset of its kind to assess nuclear segmentation and cellular composition. Our challenge, named CoNIC, stimulated the development of reproducible algorithms for cellular recognition with real-time result inspection on public leaderboards. We conducted an extensive post-challenge analysis based on the top-performing models using 1,658 whole-slide images of colon tissue. With around 700 million detected nuclei per model, associated features were used for dysplasia grading and survival analysis, where we demonstrated that the challenge's improvement over the previous state-of-the-art led to significant boosts in downstream performance. Our findings also suggest that eosinophils and neutrophils play an important role in the tumour microevironment. We release challenge models and WSI-level results to foster the development of further methods for biomarker discovery.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is the most common subtype. Exploiting the potential value of the histopathology images can promote precision medicine in oncology. Tissue segmentation is the basic upstream task of histopathology image analysis. Existing deep learning models have achieved superior segmentation performance but require sufficient pixel-level annotations, which is time-consuming and expensive. To enrich the label resources of LUAD and to alleviate the annotation efforts, we organize this challenge WSSS4LUAD to call for the outstanding weakly-supervised semantic segmentation (WSSS) techniques for histopathology images of LUAD. Participants have to design the algorithm to segment tumor epithelial, tumor-associated stroma and normal tissue with only patch-level labels. This challenge includes 10,091 patch-level annotations (the training set) and over 130 million labeled pixels (the validation and test sets), from 87 WSIs (67 from GDPH, 20 from TCGA). All the labels were generated by a pathologist-in-the-loop pipeline with the help of AI models and checked by the label review board. Among 532 registrations, 28 teams submitted the results in the test phase with over 1,000 submissions. Finally, the first place team achieved mIoU of 0.8413 (tumor: 0.8389, stroma: 0.7931, normal: 0.8919). According to the technical reports of the top-tier teams, CAM is still the most popular approach in WSSS. Cutmix data augmentation has been widely adopted to generate more reliable samples. With the success of this challenge, we believe that WSSS approaches with patch-level annotations can be a complement to the traditional pixel annotations while reducing the annotation efforts. The entire dataset has been released to encourage more researches on computational pathology in LUAD and more novel WSSS techniques.
Nuclear segmentation, classification and quantification within Haematoxylin & Eosin stained histology images enables the extraction of interpretable cell-based features that can be used in downstream explainable models in computational pathology (CPath). However, automatic recognition of different nuclei is faced with a major challenge in that there are several different types of nuclei, some of them exhibiting large intraclass variability. In this work, we propose an approach that combine Separable-HoverNet and Instance-YOLOv5 to indentify colon nuclei small and unbalanced. Our approach can achieve mPQ+ 0.389 on the Segmentation and Classification-Preliminary Test Dataset and r2 0.599 on the Cellular Composition-Preliminary Test Dataset on ISBI 2022 CoNIC Challenge.