“A net for everyone” : fully personalized and unsupervised neural networks trained with longitudinal data from a single patient

Background: With the rise in importance of personalized medicine and deep learning, we combine the two to create personalized neural networks. The aim of the study is to show a proof of concept that data from just one patient can be used to train deep neural networks to detect tumor progression in longitudinal datasets.

Methods: Two datasets with 64 scans from 32 patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) were evaluated in this study. The contrast-enhanced T1w sequences of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images were used. We trained a neural network for each patient using just two scans from different timepoints to map the difference between the images. The change in tumor volume can be calculated with this map. The neural networks were a form of a Wasserstein-GAN (generative adversarial network), an unsupervised learning architecture. The combination of data augmentation and the network architecture allowed us to skip the co-registration of the images. Furthermore, no additional training data, pre-training of the networks or any (manual) annotations are necessary.

Results: The model achieved an AUC-score of 0.87 for tumor change. We also introduced a modified RANO criteria, for which an accuracy of 66% can be achieved.

Conclusions: We show a novel approach to deep learning in using data from just one patient to train deep neural networks to monitor tumor change. Using two different datasets to evaluate the results shows the potential to generalize the method.


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