Clinical implementation of MRI-based organs-at-risk auto-segmentation with convolutional networks for prostate radiotherapy.

Savenije, Mark, Maspero, Matteo, Sikkes, Gonda G, van der Voort van Zyp, Jochem, Kotte, ANTJ, Bol, GH, van den Berg, CAT


Radiation Oncology [E] 15 (1), p. 104


BACKGROUND: Structure delineation is a necessary, yet time-consuming manual procedure in radiotherapy. Recently, convolutional neural networks have been proposed to speed-up and automatise this procedure, obtaining promising results. With the advent of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided radiotherapy, MR-based segmentation is becoming increasingly relevant. However, the majority of the studies investigated automatic contouring based on computed tomography (CT).

PURPOSE: In this study, we investigate the feasibility of clinical use of deep learning-based automatic OARs delineation on MRI.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We included 150 patients diagnosed with prostate cancer who underwent MR-only radiotherapy. A three-dimensional (3D) T1-weighted dual spoiled gradient-recalled echo sequence was acquired with 3T MRI for the generation of the synthetic-CT. The first 48 patients were included in a feasibility study training two 3D convolutional networks called DeepMedic and dense V-net (dV-net) to segment bladder, rectum and femurs. A research version of an atlas-based software was considered for comparison. Dice similarity coefficient, 95% Hausdorff distances (HD95), and mean distances were calculated against clinical delineations. For eight patients, an expert RTT scored the quality of the contouring for all the three methods. A choice among the three approaches was made, and the chosen approach was retrained on 97 patients and implemented for automatic use in the clinical workflow. For the successive 53 patients, Dice, HD95 and mean distances were calculated against the clinically used delineations.

RESULTS: DeepMedic, dV-net and the atlas-based software generated contours in 60 s, 4 s and 10-15 min, respectively. Performances were higher for both the networks compared to the atlas-based software. The qualitative analysis demonstrated that delineation from DeepMedic required fewer adaptations, followed by dV-net and the atlas-based software. DeepMedic was clinically implemented. After retraining DeepMedic and testing on the successive patients, the performances slightly improved.

CONCLUSION: High conformality for OARs delineation was achieved with two in-house trained networks, obtaining a significant speed-up of the delineation procedure. Comparison of different approaches has been performed leading to the succesful adoption of one of the neural networks, DeepMedic, in the clinical workflow. DeepMedic maintained in a clinical setting the accuracy obtained in the feasibility study.