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In BMC medical imaging

BACKGROUND : Melanoma has become more widespread over the past 30 years and early detection is a major factor in reducing mortality rates associated with this type of skin cancer. Therefore, having access to an automatic, reliable system that is able to detect the presence of melanoma via a dermatoscopic image of lesions and/or skin pigmentation can be a very useful tool in the area of medical diagnosis.

METHODS : Among state-of-the-art methods used for automated or computer assisted medical diagnosis, attention should be drawn to Deep Learning based on Convolutional Neural Networks, wherewith segmentation, classification and detection systems for several diseases have been implemented. The method proposed in this paper involves an initial stage that automatically crops the region of interest within a dermatoscopic image using the Mask and Region-based Convolutional Neural Network technique, and a second stage based on a ResNet152 structure, which classifies lesions as either "benign" or "malignant".

RESULTS : Training, validation and testing of the proposed model was carried out using the database associated to the challenge set out at the 2017 International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging. On the test data set, the proposed model achieves an increase in accuracy and balanced accuracy of 3.66% and 9.96%, respectively, with respect to the best accuracy and the best sensitivity/specificity ratio reported to date for melanoma detection in this challenge. Additionally, unlike previous models, the specificity and sensitivity achieve a high score (greater than 0.8) simultaneously, which indicates that the model is good for accurate discrimination between benign and malignant lesion, not biased towards any of those classes.

CONCLUSIONS : The results achieved with the proposed model suggest a significant improvement over the results obtained in the state of the art as far as performance of skin lesion classifiers (malignant/benign) is concerned.

Jojoa Acosta Mario Fernando, Caballero Tovar Liesle Yail, Garcia-Zapirain Maria Begonya, Percybrooks Winston Spencer


Convolutional neural network, Deep learning, Mask R_CNN, Object classification, Object detection, Transfer learning