Clinical monitoring of metastatic disease to the brain can be a laborious and time-consuming process, especially in cases involving multiple metastases when the assessment is performed manually. The Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology Brain Metastases (RANO-BM) guideline, which utilizes the unidimensional longest diameter, is commonly used in clinical and research settings to evaluate response to therapy in patients with brain metastases. However, accurate volumetric assessment of the lesion and surrounding peri-lesional edema holds significant importance in clinical decision-making and can greatly enhance outcome prediction. The unique challenge in performing segmentations of brain metastases lies in their common occurrence as small lesions. Detection and segmentation of lesions that are smaller than 10 mm in size has not demonstrated high accuracy in prior publications. The brain metastases challenge sets itself apart from previously conducted MICCAI challenges on glioma segmentation due to the significant variability in lesion size. Unlike gliomas, which tend to be larger on presentation scans, brain metastases exhibit a wide range of sizes and tend to include small lesions. We hope that the BraTS-METS dataset and challenge will advance the field of automated brain metastasis detection and segmentation.
Gliomas are the most common type of primary brain tumors. Although gliomas are relatively rare, they are among the deadliest types of cancer, with a survival rate of less than 2 years after diagnosis. Gliomas are challenging to diagnose, hard to treat and inherently resistant to conventional therapy. Years of extensive research to improve diagnosis and treatment of gliomas have decreased mortality rates across the Global North, while chances of survival among individuals in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) remain unchanged and are significantly worse in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) populations. Long-term survival with glioma is associated with the identification of appropriate pathological features on brain MRI and confirmation by histopathology. Since 2012, the Brain Tumor Segmentation (BraTS) Challenge have evaluated state-of-the-art machine learning methods to detect, characterize, and classify gliomas. However, it is unclear if the state-of-the-art methods can be widely implemented in SSA given the extensive use of lower-quality MRI technology, which produces poor image contrast and resolution and more importantly, the propensity for late presentation of disease at advanced stages as well as the unique characteristics of gliomas in SSA (i.e., suspected higher rates of gliomatosis cerebri). Thus, the BraTS-Africa Challenge provides a unique opportunity to include brain MRI glioma cases from SSA in global efforts through the BraTS Challenge to develop and evaluate computer-aided-diagnostic (CAD) methods for the detection and characterization of glioma in resource-limited settings, where the potential for CAD tools to transform healthcare are more likely.
Skin cancer is a serious condition that requires accurate identification and treatment. One way to assist clinicians in this task is by using computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) tools that can automatically segment skin lesions from dermoscopic images. To this end, a new adversarial learning-based framework called EGAN has been developed. This framework uses an unsupervised generative network to generate accurate lesion masks. It consists of a generator module with a top-down squeeze excitation-based compound scaled path and an asymmetric lateral connection-based bottom-up path, and a discriminator module that distinguishes between original and synthetic masks. Additionally, a morphology-based smoothing loss is implemented to encourage the network to create smooth semantic boundaries of lesions. The framework is evaluated on the International Skin Imaging Collaboration (ISIC) Lesion Dataset 2018 and outperforms the current state-of-the-art skin lesion segmentation approaches with a Dice coefficient, Jaccard similarity, and Accuracy of 90.1%, 83.6%, and 94.5%, respectively. This represents a 2% increase in Dice Coefficient, 1% increase in Jaccard Index, and 1% increase in Accuracy.
Pediatric tumors of the central nervous system are the most common cause of cancer-related death in children. The five-year survival rate for high-grade gliomas in children is less than 20\%. Due to their rarity, the diagnosis of these entities is often delayed, their treatment is mainly based on historic treatment concepts, and clinical trials require multi-institutional collaborations. The MICCAI Brain Tumor Segmentation (BraTS) Challenge is a landmark community benchmark event with a successful history of 12 years of resource creation for the segmentation and analysis of adult glioma. Here we present the CBTN-CONNECT-DIPGR-ASNR-MICCAI BraTS-PEDs 2023 challenge, which represents the first BraTS challenge focused on pediatric brain tumors with data acquired across multiple international consortia dedicated to pediatric neuro-oncology and clinical trials. The BraTS-PEDs 2023 challenge focuses on benchmarking the development of volumentric segmentation algorithms for pediatric brain glioma through standardized quantitative performance evaluation metrics utilized across the BraTS 2023 cluster of challenges. Models gaining knowledge from the BraTS-PEDs multi-parametric structural MRI (mpMRI) training data will be evaluated on separate validation and unseen test mpMRI dataof high-grade pediatric glioma. The CBTN-CONNECT-DIPGR-ASNR-MICCAI BraTS-PEDs 2023 challenge brings together clinicians and AI/imaging scientists to lead to faster development of automated segmentation techniques that could benefit clinical trials, and ultimately the care of children with brain tumors.
Automated brain tumor segmentation methods are well established, reaching performance levels with clear clinical utility. Most algorithms require four input magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) modalities, typically T1-weighted images with and without contrast enhancement, T2-weighted images, and FLAIR images. However, some of these sequences are often missing in clinical practice, e.g., because of time constraints and/or image artifacts (such as patient motion). Therefore, substituting missing modalities to recover segmentation performance in these scenarios is highly desirable and necessary for the more widespread adoption of such algorithms in clinical routine. In this work, we report the set-up of the Brain MR Image Synthesis Benchmark (BraSyn), organized in conjunction with the Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) 2023. The objective of the challenge is to benchmark image synthesis methods that realistically synthesize missing MRI modalities given multiple available images to facilitate automated brain tumor segmentation pipelines. The image dataset is multi-modal and diverse, created in collaboration with various hospitals and research institutions.
A myriad of algorithms for the automatic analysis of brain MR images is available to support clinicians in their decision-making. For brain tumor patients, the image acquisition time series typically starts with a scan that is already pathological. This poses problems, as many algorithms are designed to analyze healthy brains and provide no guarantees for images featuring lesions. Examples include but are not limited to algorithms for brain anatomy parcellation, tissue segmentation, and brain extraction. To solve this dilemma, we introduce the BraTS 2023 inpainting challenge. Here, the participants' task is to explore inpainting techniques to synthesize healthy brain scans from lesioned ones. The following manuscript contains the task formulation, dataset, and submission procedure. Later it will be updated to summarize the findings of the challenge. The challenge is organized as part of the BraTS 2023 challenge hosted at the MICCAI 2023 conference in Vancouver, Canada.
Meningiomas are the most common primary intracranial tumor in adults and can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Radiologists, neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, and radiation oncologists rely on multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) for diagnosis, treatment planning, and longitudinal treatment monitoring; yet automated, objective, and quantitative tools for non-invasive assessment of meningiomas on mpMRI are lacking. The BraTS meningioma 2023 challenge will provide a community standard and benchmark for state-of-the-art automated intracranial meningioma segmentation models based on the largest expert annotated multilabel meningioma mpMRI dataset to date. Challenge competitors will develop automated segmentation models to predict three distinct meningioma sub-regions on MRI including enhancing tumor, non-enhancing tumor core, and surrounding nonenhancing T2/FLAIR hyperintensity. Models will be evaluated on separate validation and held-out test datasets using standardized metrics utilized across the BraTS 2023 series of challenges including the Dice similarity coefficient and Hausdorff distance. The models developed during the course of this challenge will aid in incorporation of automated meningioma MRI segmentation into clinical practice, which will ultimately improve care of patients with meningioma.
International benchmarking competitions have become fundamental for the comparative performance assessment of image analysis methods. However, little attention has been given to investigating what can be learnt from these competitions. Do they really generate scientific progress? What are common and successful participation strategies? What makes a solution superior to a competing method? To address this gap in the literature, we performed a multi-center study with all 80 competitions that were conducted in the scope of IEEE ISBI 2021 and MICCAI 2021. Statistical analyses performed based on comprehensive descriptions of the submitted algorithms linked to their rank as well as the underlying participation strategies revealed common characteristics of winning solutions. These typically include the use of multi-task learning (63%) and/or multi-stage pipelines (61%), and a focus on augmentation (100%), image preprocessing (97%), data curation (79%), and postprocessing (66%). The "typical" lead of a winning team is a computer scientist with a doctoral degree, five years of experience in biomedical image analysis, and four years of experience in deep learning. Two core general development strategies stood out for highly-ranked teams: the reflection of the metrics in the method design and the focus on analyzing and handling failure cases. According to the organizers, 43% of the winning algorithms exceeded the state of the art but only 11% completely solved the respective domain problem. The insights of our study could help researchers (1) improve algorithm development strategies when approaching new problems, and (2) focus on open research questions revealed by this work.
Automatic lesion analysis is critical in skin cancer diagnosis and ensures effective treatment. The computer aided diagnosis of such skin cancer in dermoscopic images can significantly reduce the clinicians workload and help improve diagnostic accuracy. Although researchers are working extensively to address this problem, early detection and accurate identification of skin lesions remain challenging. This research focuses on a two step framework for skin lesion segmentation followed by classification for lesion analysis. We explored the effectiveness of deep convolutional neural network based architectures by designing an encoder-decoder architecture for skin lesion segmentation and CNN based classification network. The proposed approaches are evaluated quantitatively in terms of the Accuracy, mean Intersection over Union and Dice Similarity Coefficient. Our cascaded end to end deep learning based approach is the first of its kind, where the classification accuracy of the lesion is significantly improved because of prior segmentation.
The number of international benchmarking competitions is steadily increasing in various fields of machine learning (ML) research and practice. So far, however, little is known about the common practice as well as bottlenecks faced by the community in tackling the research questions posed. To shed light on the status quo of algorithm development in the specific field of biomedical imaging analysis, we designed an international survey that was issued to all participants of challenges conducted in conjunction with the IEEE ISBI 2021 and MICCAI 2021 conferences (80 competitions in total). The survey covered participants' expertise and working environments, their chosen strategies, as well as algorithm characteristics. A median of 72% challenge participants took part in the survey. According to our results, knowledge exchange was the primary incentive (70%) for participation, while the reception of prize money played only a minor role (16%). While a median of 80 working hours was spent on method development, a large portion of participants stated that they did not have enough time for method development (32%). 25% perceived the infrastructure to be a bottleneck. Overall, 94% of all solutions were deep learning-based. Of these, 84% were based on standard architectures. 43% of the respondents reported that the data samples (e.g., images) were too large to be processed at once. This was most commonly addressed by patch-based training (69%), downsampling (37%), and solving 3D analysis tasks as a series of 2D tasks. K-fold cross-validation on the training set was performed by only 37% of the participants and only 50% of the participants performed ensembling based on multiple identical models (61%) or heterogeneous models (39%). 48% of the respondents applied postprocessing steps.