We have developed a novel photoacoustic microscopy/ultrasound (PAM/US) endoscope to image post-treatment rectal cancer for surgical management of residual tumor after radiation and chemotherapy. Paired with a deep-learning convolutional neural network (CNN), the PAM images accurately differentiated pathological complete responders (pCR) from incomplete responders. However, the role of CNNs compared with traditional histogram-feature based classifiers needs further exploration. In this work, we compare the performance of the CNN models to generalized linear models (GLM) across 24 ex vivo specimens and 10 in vivo patient examinations. First order statistical features were extracted from histograms of PAM and US images to train, validate and test GLM models, while PAM and US images were directly used to train, validate, and test CNN models. The PAM-CNN model performed superiorly with an AUC of 0.96 (95% CI: 0.95-0.98) compared to the best PAM-GLM model using kurtosis with an AUC of 0.82 (95% CI: 0.82-0.83). We also found that both CNN and GLMs derived from photoacoustic data outperformed those utilizing ultrasound alone. We conclude that deep-learning neural networks paired with photoacoustic images is the optimal analysis framework for determining presence of residual cancer in the treated human rectum.
- machine learning
- photoacoustic imaging of rectal cancer
- rectal cancer
- regression analysis
- ultrasound imaging