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Hybrid models for lung nodule malignancy prediction utilizing convolutional neural network ensembles and clinical data.
Pubmed ID
32280729 (View this publication on the PubMed website)
Digital Object Identifier
J Med Imaging (Bellingham). 2020 Mar; Volume 7 (Issue 2): Pages 024502

Paul R, Schabath MB, Gillies R, Hall LO, Goldgof DB


Purpose: Due to the high incidence and mortality rates of lung cancer worldwide, early detection of a precancerous lesion is essential. Low-dose computed tomography is a commonly used technique for screening, diagnosis, and prognosis of non-small-cell lung cancer. Recently, convolutional neural networks (CNN) had shown great potential in lung nodule classification. Clinical information (family history, gender, and smoking history) together with nodule size provide information about lung cancer risk. Large nodules have greater risk than small nodules. Approach: A subset of cases from the National Lung Screening Trial was chosen as a dataset in our study. We divided the nodules into large and small nodules based on different clinical guideline thresholds and then analyzed the groups individually. Similarly, we also analyzed clinical features by dividing them into groups. CNNs were designed and trained over each of these groups individually. To our knowledge, this is the first study to incorporate nodule size and clinical features for classification using CNN. We further made a hybrid model using an ensemble with the CNN models of clinical and size information to enhance malignancy prediction. Results: From our study, we obtained 0.9 AUC and 83.12% accuracy, which was a significant improvement over our previous best results. Conclusions: In conclusion, we found that dividing the nodules by size and clinical information for building predictive models resulted in improved malignancy predictions. Our analysis also showed that appropriately integrating clinical information and size groups could further improve risk prediction.

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