Automated Assessment of the Curliness of Collagen Fiber in Breast Cancer

David Paredes, Prateek Prasanna, Christina Preece, Rajarsi Gupta, Farzad Fereidouni, Dimitris Samaras, Tahsin Kurc, Richard M. Levenson, Patricia Thompson-Carino, Joel Saltz, Chao Chen

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


The growth and spread of breast cancer are influenced by the composition and structural properties of collagen in the extracellular matrix of tumors. Straight alignment of collagen has been attributed to tumor cell migration, which is correlated with tumor progression and metastasis in breast cancer. Thus, there is a need to characterize collagen alignment to study its value as a prognostic biomarker. We present a framework to characterize the curliness of collagen fibers in breast cancer images from DUET (DUal-mode Emission and Transmission) studies on hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained tissue samples. Our novel approach highlights the characteristic fiber gradients using a standard ridge detection method before feeding into the convolutional neural network. Experiments were performed on patches of breast cancer images containing straight or curly collagen. The proposed approach outperforms in terms of area under the curve against transfer learning methods trained directly on the original patches. We also explore a feature fusion strategy to combine feature representations of both the original patches and their ridge filter responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Vision – ECCV 2020 Workshops, Proceedings
EditorsAdrien Bartoli, Andrea Fusiello
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783030664145
StatePublished - 2020
EventWorkshops held at the 16th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2020 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Aug 23 2020Aug 28 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12535 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceWorkshops held at the 16th European Conference on Computer Vision, ECCV 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Collagen fiber
  • Deep learning
  • Digital pathology
  • Ridge detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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