The performance evaluation of a semi-supervised fuzzy c-means (SFCM) clustering method for monitoring brain tumor volume changes during the course of routine clinical radiation-therapeutic and chemo-therapeutic regimens is presented. The tumor volume determined using the SFCM method was compared with the volume estimates obtained using three other methods: (a) a k nearest neighbor (kNN) classifier, b) a grey level thresholding and seed growing (ISG-SG) method and c) a manual pixel labeling (GT) method for ground truth estimation. The SFCM and kNN methods are applied to the multispectral, contrast enhanced T1, proton density, and T2 weighted, magnetic resonance images (MRI) whereas the ISG-SG and GT methods are applied only to the contrast enhanced T1 weighted image. Estimations of tumor volume were made on eight patient cases with follow-up MRI scans performed over a 32 week interval during treatment. The tumor cases studied include one meningioma, two brain metastases and five gliomas. Comparisons with manually labeled ground truth estimations showed that there is a limited agreement between the segmentation methods for absolute tumor volume measurements when using images of patients after treatment. The average intraobserver reproducibility for the SFCM, kNN and ISG-SG methods was found to be 5.8%, 6.6% and 8.9%, respectively. The average of the interobserver reproducibility of these methods was found to be 5.5%, 6.5% and 11.4%, respectively. For the measurement of relative change of tumor volume as required for the response assessment, the multi-spectral methods kNN and SFCM are therefore preferred over the seedgrowing method.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging