Obesity is one of the most prevalent health conditions. About 30% of the world's and over 70% of the United States' adult populations are either overweight or obese, causing an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Among all cancers, lung cancer is the leading cause of death, whereas pancreatic cancer has the poorest prognosis among all major cancers. Early diagnosis of these cancers can save lives. This dissertation contributes towards the development of computer-aided diagnosis tools in order to aid clinicians in establishing the quantitative relationship between obesity and cancers. With respect to obesity and metabolism, in the first part of the dissertation, we specifically focus on the segmentation and quantification of white and brown adipose tissue. For cancer diagnosis, we perform analysis on two important cases: lung cancer and Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm (IPMN), a precursor to pancreatic cancer. This dissertation proposes an automatic body region detection method trained with only a single example. Then a new fat quantification approach is proposed which is based on geometric and appearance characteristics. For the segmentation of brown fat, a PET-guided CT co-segmentation method is presented. With different variants of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), supervised learning strategies are proposed for the automatic diagnosis of lung nodules and IPMN. In order to address the unavailability of a large number of labeled examples required for training, unsupervised learning approaches for cancer diagnosis without explicit labeling are proposed. We evaluate our proposed approaches (both supervised and unsupervised) on two different tumor diagnosis challenges: lung and pancreas with 1018 CT and 171 MRI scans respectively. The proposed segmentation, quantification and diagnosis approaches explore the important adiposity-cancer association and help pave the way towards improved diagnostic decision making in routine clinical practice.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Hussein, Sarfaraz, "Learning Algorithms for Fat Quantification and Tumor Characterization" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5962.