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In Frontiers in oncology ; h5-index 0.0

Purpose: To investigate whether a deep learning-assisted contour (DLAC) could provide greater accuracy, inter-observer consistency, and efficiency compared with a manual contour (MC) of the clinical target volume (CTV) for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving postoperative radiotherapy (PORT). Materials and Methods: A deep dilated residual network was used to achieve the effective automatic contour of the CTV. Eleven junior physicians contoured CTVs on 19 patients by using both MC and DLAC methods independently. Compared with the ground truth, the accuracy of the contour was evaluated by using the Dice coefficient and mean distance to agreement (MDTA). The coefficient of variation (CV) and standard distance deviation (SDD) were rendered to measure the inter-observer variability or consistency. The time consumed for each of the two contouring methods was also compared. Results: A total of 418 CTV sets were generated. DLAC improved contour accuracy when compared with MC and was associated with a larger Dice coefficient (mean ± SD: 0.75 ± 0.06 vs. 0.72 ± 0.07, p < 0.001) and smaller MDTA (mean ± SD: 2.97 ± 0.91 mm vs. 3.07 ± 0.98 mm, p < 0.001). The DLAC was also associated with decreased inter-observer variability, with a smaller CV (mean ± SD: 0.129 ± 0.040 vs. 0.183 ± 0.043, p < 0.001) and SDD (mean ± SD: 0.47 ± 0.22 mm vs. 0.72 ± 0.41 mm, p < 0.001). In addition, a value of 35% of time saving was provided by the DLAC (median: 14.81 min vs. 9.59 min, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Compared with MC, the DLAC is a promising strategy to obtain superior accuracy, consistency, and efficiency for the PORT-CTV in NSCLC.

Bi Nan, Wang Jingbo, Zhang Tao, Chen Xinyuan, Xia Wenlong, Miao Junjie, Xu Kunpeng, Wu Linfang, Fan Quanrong, Wang Luhua, Li Yexiong, Zhou Zongmei, Dai Jianrong


automatic contour, clinical target volume, deep learning, non-small cell lung cancer, postoperative radiotherapy