Using a 22-layer U-Net to perform segmentation of squamous cell carcinoma on digitized head and neck histological images

Amol Mavuduru, Martin Halicek, Maysam Shahedi, James V. Little, Amy Y. Chen, Larry L. Myers, Baowei Fei

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) comprises over 90 percent of tumors in the head and neck. The diagnosis process involves performing surgical resection of tissue and creating histological slides from the removed tissue. Pathologists detect SCC in histology slides, and may fail to correctly identify tumor regions within the slides. In this study, a dataset of patches extracted from 200 digitized histological images from 84 head and neck SCC patients was used to train, validate and test the segmentation performance of a fully-convolutional U-Net architecture. The neural network achieved a pixel-level segmentation AUC of 0.89 on the testing group. The average segmentation time for whole slide images was 72 seconds. The training, validation, and testing process in this experiment produces a model that has the potential to help segment SCC images in histological images with improved speed and accuracy compared to the manual segmentation process performed by pathologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2020
Subtitle of host publicationDigital Pathology
EditorsJohn E. Tomaszewski, Aaron D. Ward
ISBN (Electronic)9781510634077
StatePublished - 2020
EventMedical Imaging 2020: Digital Pathology - Houston, United States
Duration: Feb 19 2020Feb 20 2020

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2020: Digital Pathology
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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