AdaMSS: Adaptive Multi-Modality Segmentation-to-Survival Learning for Survival Outcome Prediction from PET/CT Images

17 May 2023  ·  Mingyuan Meng, Bingxin Gu, Michael Fulham, Shaoli Song, Dagan Feng, Lei Bi, Jinman Kim ·

Survival prediction is a major concern for cancer management. Deep survival models based on deep learning have been widely adopted to perform end-to-end survival prediction from medical images. Recent deep survival models achieved promising performance by jointly performing tumor segmentation with survival prediction, where the models were guided to extract tumor-related information through Multi-Task Learning (MTL). However, these deep survival models have difficulties in exploring out-of-tumor prognostic information. In addition, existing deep survival models are unable to effectively leverage multi-modality images. Empirically-designed fusion strategies were commonly adopted to fuse multi-modality information via task-specific manually-designed networks, thus limiting the adaptability to different scenarios. In this study, we propose an Adaptive Multi-modality Segmentation-to-Survival model (AdaMSS) for survival prediction from PET/CT images. Instead of adopting MTL, we propose a novel Segmentation-to-Survival Learning (SSL) strategy, where our AdaMSS is trained for tumor segmentation and survival prediction sequentially in two stages. This strategy enables the AdaMSS to focus on tumor regions in the first stage and gradually expand its focus to include other prognosis-related regions in the second stage. We also propose a data-driven strategy to fuse multi-modality information, which realizes adaptive optimization of fusion strategies based on training data during training. With the SSL and data-driven fusion strategies, our AdaMSS is designed as an adaptive model that can self-adapt its focus regions and fusion strategy for different training stages. Extensive experiments with two large clinical datasets show that our AdaMSS outperforms state-of-the-art survival prediction methods.

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