|UPDATE: Information below is retained for historical purposes. Artifacts of the challenge are available through the following digital object identifier: http://dx.doi.org/10.7937/K9/TCIA.2015.zF0vlOPv.|
The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI's) Cancer Imaging Program in collaboration with the International Society for Biomedical Imaging (ISBI) has launched a grand challenge involving prostate gland magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. The challenge will take place at the ISBI Symposium, April 7-11, 2013 in San Francisco, CA.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in males and will afflict 1 in 6 men. Many diagnostic prostate biopsies fail to detect occult cancers because of the difficulty in properly determining the prostate’s anatomy. Approximately 20% of ultrasound image guided prostate biopsies return negative results despite rising levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) markers in the blood and the presence of cancer somewhere in the 30+ cc gland. These failures have been attributed by some to the hesitation to sample one of the two major parts of the glands— namely the predilection toward the more easily reached peripheral zone (PZ) over the less accessible central gland (CG). This year’s ISBI challenge contestants outlined these two non-overlapping adjacent regions of the gland (see image).
Advancing solutions to this vexing clinical problem will raise awareness about the impact computer image processing can have toward addressing a widespread, critical healthcare puzzle. Open and closed source algorithms applicable to both 1.5T and 3T magnetic resonance images (MRIs) will be most welcome.
Data for the prostate challenge have been provided by Boston University and Radboud University, Nijmegen Medical Centre (the Netherlands), and divided into three groups:
Prospective participants for the Onsite Challenge Test have the option to submit a 1-page abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include title, authors, affiliation, objectives, data, methods, results, and conclusions. Format: 11 point font, PDF.
A 60-case prostate MRI 3D series "training set" consisting of Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) images with matched NRRD markups that define the tissue CG and PZ are available from the NCI via The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA).
There will be 60 cases, each consisting of 15+ (4 mm thick slices at 3T) or 28+ (3 mm thick at 1.5T) adjacent axial cross-section cuts. Half of them were obtained at 1.5 T (Philips Achieva) with an endo-rectal receiver coil (fromBostonMedicalCenter) and the other half at 3T (Siemens TIM) with a surface coil (from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre [RUNMC],Netherlands). They were acquired as T2-weighted MR axial pulse sequences. Each file contains nearly all DICOM acquisition parameters except tags that specifically identify Private Health Information.
To complete the training data set, each case has had individual slice CG and PZ outlines marked by Drs. Nicolas Bloch (Boston University School of Medicine) and Mirabela Rusu (Case Western University) or Drs. Henkjan Huisman, Geert Litjens, or Futterer at RUNMC Netherlands. Use the following links to download the .NRRD markups:
The 10 case prostate MRI 3D series "leader board set" is now available from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) via TCIA. The same instructions apply as with the training set, except for the use of a new shared list name - "ISBI Prostate Challenge - Leader Board".
Please note that no NRRD segmentations will be available for download for these leaderboard cases until after the conclusion of the challenge.
The 10-case prostate MRI 3D series "test set" is now available via direct download: http://challenge.kitware.com/midas/item/3046.
The file is password protected so that participants cannot use it until the day of the meeting, but will be able to download it in advance to help avoid potential issues with obtaining the data on the day of the challenge. Please note that no NRRD segmentations will be available for download for these test cases until after the conclusion of the challenge.
Once you've trained your algorithm on those 60 cases the NCI-ISBI Challenge Committee will provide you access to a new 10-case leaderboard set to which you will not have .NRRD markup data. "Leaderboard" is a popular term (borrowed from golf) for a procedure to see how well you are doing on a pre-test set in order to get a sense of your relative competitive rank before submitting to a final test. The results of your participation in the leaderboard will be returned to you as feedback on a subset of sequestered markups retained on Kitware's MIDAS software, which analytically judges the submissions. You may then use those results for further tuning your algorithm to prepare yourself for the final test set of 10 totally new cases on which you will run your algorithm while attending the ISBI meeting in April 2013.
To submit your results to the Leader Board please visit: http://challenge.kitware.com/midas/community/5#tabs-info. Leaderboard results are also available: http://challenge.kitware.com/midas/community/5#Participant_Scoreboards.