A multi-channel and multi-spatial attention convolutional neural network for prostate cancer isup grading

Bochen Yang, Zhifeng Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide. As the demand for prostate biopsies increases, a worldwide shortage and an uneven geographical distribution of proficient pathologists place a strain on the efficacy of pathological diagnosis. Deep learning (DL) is able to automatically extract features from whole-slide images of prostate biopsies annotated by skilled pathologists and to classify the severity of PCa. A whole-slide image of biopsies has many irrelevant features that weaken the performance of DL models. To enable DL models to focus more on cancerous tissues, we propose a Multi-Channel and Multi-Spatial (MCMS) Attention module that can be easily plugged into any backbone CNN to enhance feature extraction. Specifically, MCMS learns a channel attention vector to assign weights to channels in the feature map by pooling from multiple attention branches with different reduction ratios; similarly, it also learns a spatial attention matrix to focus on more relevant areas of the image, by pooling from multiple convolutional layers with different kernel sizes. The model is verified on the most extensive multi-center PCa dataset that consists of 11,000 H&E-stained histopathology whole-slide images. Experimental results demonstrate that an MCMS-assisted CNN can effectively boost prediction performance in accuracy (ACC) and quadratic weighted kappa (QWK), compared with prior studies. The proposed model and results can serve as a credible benchmark for future research in automated PCa grading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4321
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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