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Onco Targets Ther. 2015 Aug 4;8:2015-22. doi: 10.2147/OTT.S80733. eCollection 2015.

Computer-aided classification of lung nodules on computed tomography images via deep learning technique.

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Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan.
Research Center for Information Technology Innovation, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Radiation Oncology, MacKay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.


Lung cancer has a poor prognosis when not diagnosed early and unresectable lesions are present. The management of small lung nodules noted on computed tomography scan is controversial due to uncertain tumor characteristics. A conventional computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) scheme requires several image processing and pattern recognition steps to accomplish a quantitative tumor differentiation result. In such an ad hoc image analysis pipeline, every step depends heavily on the performance of the previous step. Accordingly, tuning of classification performance in a conventional CAD scheme is very complicated and arduous. Deep learning techniques, on the other hand, have the intrinsic advantage of an automatic exploitation feature and tuning of performance in a seamless fashion. In this study, we attempted to simplify the image analysis pipeline of conventional CAD with deep learning techniques. Specifically, we introduced models of a deep belief network and a convolutional neural network in the context of nodule classification in computed tomography images. Two baseline methods with feature computing steps were implemented for comparison. The experimental results suggest that deep learning methods could achieve better discriminative results and hold promise in the CAD application domain.


convolutional neural network; deep belief network; deep learning; nodule classification

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