Markerless gating for lung cancer radiotherapy based on machine learning techniques

Tong Lin, Ruijiang Li, Xiaoli Tang, Jennifer G. Dy, Steve B. Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In lung cancer radiotherapy, radiation to a mobile target can be delivered by respiratory gating, for which we need to know whether the target is inside or outside a predefined gating window at any time point during the treatment. This can be achieved by tracking one or more fiducial markers implanted inside or near the target, either fluoroscopically or electromagnetically. However, the clinical implementation of marker tracking is limited for lung cancer radiotherapy mainly due to the risk of pneumothorax. Therefore, gating without implanted fiducial markers is a promising clinical direction. We have developed several template-matching methods for fluoroscopic marker-less gating. Recently, we have modeled the gating problem as a binary pattern classification problem, in which principal component analysis (PCA) and support vector machine (SVM) are combined to perform the classification task. Following the same framework, we investigated different combinations of dimensionality reduction techniques (PCA and four nonlinear manifold learning methods) and two machine learning classification methods (artificial neural networks - ANN and SVM). Performance was evaluated on ten fluoroscopic image sequences of nine lung cancer patients. We found that among all combinations of dimensionality reduction techniques and classification methods, PCA combined with either ANN or SVM achieved a better performance than the other nonlinear manifold learning methods. ANN when combined with PCA achieves a better performance than SVM in terms of classification accuracy and recall rate, although the target coverage is similar for the two classification methods. Furthermore, the running time for both ANN and SVM with PCA is within tolerance for real-time applications. Overall, ANN combined with PCA is a better candidate than other combinations we investigated in this work for real-time gated radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1555-1563
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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