A dual-mode deep transfer learning (D2TL) system for breast cancer detection using contrast enhanced digital mammograms

Kun Wang, Bhavika K. Patel, Lujia Wang, Teresa Wu, Bin Zheng, Jing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Full-field digital mammography (FFDM) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are gold-standard techniques for breast cancer detection. The newly contrast-enhanced digital mammography (CEDM) integrates the complementary strengths of FFDM and MRI, and is being incorporated into the practice of leading institutions. The current clinical practice using CEDM is sub-optimal because it is primarily based on clinicians' trained eyes. Automated diagnostic systems under the conventional machine learning paradigm suffer from drawbacks, such as the requirement for precise segmentation, extraction of shallow features that do not suffice for diagnostic images, and adoption of a sequential design without a global objective. We propose a deep learning (DL)-empowered diagnostic system using CEDM, the core of which is a novel dual-mode deep transfer learning (D2TL) model. The proposed system is innovative in several aspects, including (1) a dual-mode deep architecture design; (2) use of transfer learning to facilitate robust model estimation under small sample-size; (3) development of visualization techniques to help interpret the model results and facilitate inter- and intra-tumor malignancy quantification; and (4) minimization of human bias. We apply D2TL to classify benign vs. malignant tumors using the CEDM data collected from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. D2TL outperforms competing models and approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-370
Number of pages14
JournalIISE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019


  • Deep learning
  • breast cancer
  • imaging-based diagnosis
  • transfer learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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