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SPIE-AAPM-NCI DAIR Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Lesion Detection Challenge

The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), along with the SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), are conducting a challenge for the detection of biopsy-proven breast lesions on digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) images. The results of the challenge will be announced at a special session of the 2021 SPIE Medical Imaging Conference. Participants in the DBTex Challenge are encouraged to submit their work for peer review to the SPIE’s Journal of Medical Imaging. A second part of the DBTex Challenge will be held in conjunction with the 2021 AAPM Annual Meeting.

The winning team will receive a $1000 prize sponsored by Duke Center for Artificial Intelligence in Radiology (DAIR), contingent on making their code publicly available on GitHub. Depositing of code is only required in order to be eligible to win the $1000 prize, but all participants are encouraged to make their code publicly available. Additionally, two individuals from each of the two top-performing teams as well as one individual from the third best performing team will receive a waiver of the meeting registration fee in order to present their methods during the SPIE Medical Imaging Conference.

DBTex Challenge Format

The goal of the DBTex Challenge is to detect breast lesions that subsequently underwent biopsy and provide the location and size of a bounding box, as well as a confidence score, for each detected lesion candidate. The dataset contains DBT exams with breast cancers, biopsy-proven benign lesions, actionable non-biopsied findings, as well as normals (scans without any findings). The task is to detect biopsy-proven lesions only.

A predicted box is counted as a true positive if the distance in pixels in the original image between its center point and the center of a ground truth box is less than half of its diagonal or 100 pixels, whichever is larger. In terms of the third dimension, the ground truth bounding box is assumed to span 25% of volume slices before and after the ground truth center slice and the predicted box center slice is required to be included in this range to be considered a true positive. Actionable lesions that did not undergo biopsy do not have annotations (ground truth boxes).

The primary performance metric is the average sensitivity for 1, 2, 3, and 4 false positives per DBT view. The primary performance metric will be determined using only views with a biopsied finding. The secondary performance metric is the sensitivity for 2 FP/image for all test views as assessed in arxiv.org/pdf/2011.07995.pdf. Submissions will be ranked using the primary performance metric and the secondary performance metric will be used as a tie-breaker.

Participation in the DBTex Challenge acknowledges the educational, friendly competition, and community-building nature of this challenge and commits to conduct consistent with this spirit for the advancement of the medical imaging research community.

Data Availability

The dataset for the DBTex challenge contains a total of 1000 breast tomosynthesis scans from 985 patients: the training set contains 700 scans, the validation set contains 120 scans, and the test set contains 180 scans.

Release of the training set (with truth): December 14, 2020
The training set will consist of 700 cases. This dataset will be representative of the technical properties (equipment, acquisition parameters, file format) and the nature of lesions in the validation and test sets. An associated Excel file in CSV format will include DBT scan identifier and the definition of the bounding box of all lesions. Training data is available here.

Release of the validation set (without truth): January 4, 2021
The validation set will consist of 120 cases. The locations of lesions will not be provided. The validation set needs to be processed, manipulated, and analyzed without human intervantion. Validation set output submitted through the online challenge interface will contribute to the challenge leader board.

Release of the test set (without truth): January 15, 2021
The test set will consist of 180 cases. The locations of lesions will not be provided. The test set needs to be processed, manipulated, and analyzed without human intervention.

Deadline for participants to submit test set output: January 25, 2021
Participants should submit their test set output through the online challenge interface by 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on January 25, 2021. An acknowledgment will be sent within 2 business days of receipt of results. In case no confirmation of receipt is received, please contact the challenge organizers.

Note that the submission of test set output will not be considered complete unless it is accompanied by (1) an agreement to be acknowledged in the Acknowledgment section (by name and institution—but without any link to the performance score of your particular method) of any manuscript that results from the challenge and (2) a one-paragraph statement of the methods used to obtain the submitted results, including information regarding the approach and data set(s) used to train your system, the image analysis and segmentation (if applicable) methods used, the type of classifier, and any relevant references for these methods that should be cited in the challenge overview manuscript. Also note that in order to be eligible for the $1000 prize it is required to make your code publicly available on GitHub.

Output format for the DBTex Challenge test set results:

Submissions to the system should contain output results for all cases in a single CSV file and give the location and size of a bounding box for each detected lesion candidate as well as a confidence score that this detection represents an actual lesion.

Formatting your submission file:

The output of your method submitted to the evaluation system should be a single CSV file with the following columns:

Conflict of Interest:

All participants must attest that they are not directly affiliated with the labs of any of the DBTex organizers or major contributors. Please refer to the Challenge Organizer Guidance document of the AAPM Working Group on Grand Challenges.

Challenge Website:


Organizers and Major Contributors: