Segmentation of glandular epithelium in colorectal tumours to automatically compartmentalise IHC biomarker quantification: A deep learning approach

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HighlightsWe propose a method to automate glandular epithelium segmentation.Our approach combines Deep Learning and a new method of data augmentation.Our algorithm efficiently processes H&E as well as IHC images.Our algorithm achieves state-of-the-art performances.Our method enables to automate the compartmentalisation of IHC biomarker analyses.Graphical abstractIn this paper, we propose a method for automatically annotating slide images from colorectal tissue samples. Our objective is to segment glandular epithelium in histological images from tissue slides submitted to different staining techniques, including usual haematoxylin-eosin (H&E) as well as immunohistochemistry (IHC). The proposed method makes use of Deep Learning and is based on a new convolutional network architecture. Our method achieves better performances than the state of the art on the H&E images of the GlaS challenge contest, whereas it uses only the haematoxylin colour channel extracted by colour deconvolution from the RGB images in order to extend its applicability to IHC. The network only needs to be fine-tuned on a small number of additional examples to be accurate on a new IHC dataset. Our approach also includes a new method of data augmentation to achieve good generalisation when working with different experimental conditions and different IHC markers. We show that our methodology enables to automate the compartmentalisation of the IHC biomarker analysis, results concurring highly with manual annotations.

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