Computer-aided detection aims to improve breast cancer screening programs by helping radiologists to evaluate digital mammography (DM) exams. DM exams are generated by devices from different vendors, with diverse characteristics between and even within vendors. Physical properties of these devices and postprocessing of the images can greatly influence the resulting mammogram. This results in the fact that a deep learning model trained on data from one vendor cannot readily be applied to data from another vendor. This paper investigates the use of tailored transfer learning methods based on adversarial learning to tackle this problem. We consider a database of DM exams (mostly bilateral and two views) generated by Hologic and Siemens vendors. We analyze two transfer learning settings: 1) unsupervised transfer, where Hologic data with soft lesion annotation at pixel level and Siemens unlabelled data are used to annotate images in the latter data; 2) weak supervised transfer, where exam level labels for images from the Siemens mammograph are available. We propose tailored variants of recent state-of-the-art methods for transfer learning which take into account the class imbalance and incorporate knowledge provided by the annotations at exam level. Results of experiments indicate the beneficial effect of transfer learning in both transfer settings. Notably, at 0.02 false positives per image, we achieve a sensitivity of 0.37, compared to 0.30 of a baseline with no transfer. Results indicate that using exam level annotations gives an additional increase in sensitivity.
Digital breast tomosynthesis is rapidly replacing digital mammography as the basic x-ray technique for evaluation of the breasts. However, the sparse sampling and limited angular range gives rise to different artifacts, which manufacturers try to solve in several ways. In this study we propose an extension of the Learned Primal- Dual algorithm for digital breast tomosynthesis. The Learned Primal-Dual algorithm is a deep neural network consisting of several ‘reconstruction blocks’, which take in raw sinogram data as the initial input, perform a forward and a backward pass by taking projections and back-projections, and use a convolutional neural network to produce an intermediate reconstruction result which is then improved further by the successive reconstruction block. We extend the architecture by providing breast thickness measurements as a mask to the neural network and allow it to learn how to use this thickness mask. We have trained the algorithm on digital phantoms and the corresponding noise-free/noisy projections, and then tested the algorithm on digital phantoms for varying level of noise. Reconstruction performance of the algorithms was compared visually, using MSE loss and Structural Similarity Index. Results indicate that the proposed algorithm outperforms the baseline iterative reconstruction algorithm in terms of reconstruction quality for both breast edges and internal structures and is robust to noise.