Keywords: Transformer, Missing Modality, Segmentation, MRI, Medical
TL;DR: MMCFormer is a co-training network, which proposed global contextual agreement and modality-specific tokens
Abstract: Human brain tumours and more specifically gliomas are amongst the most life-threatening cancers which usually arise from abnormal growth of the glial stem cells. In practice, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) modalities, which offer different contrasts to elucidate tissue properties, provide comprehensive information regarding the brain’s structure and also potential clues for detecting tumors. Hence, multi-modal MRI is commonly utilized for the diagnosis of brain tumors. However, since the set of acquired modalities may vary between clinical sites, brain tumor studies may miss one or two MRI modalities. To address missing information in an end-to-end manner, we propose MMCFormer, a novel missing modality compensation network. Our strategy builds upon 3D efficient transformer blocks and uses a co-training strategy to effectively train a missing modality network. To ensure feature consistency in a multi-scale fashion, MMCFormer utilizes global contextual agreement modules in each scale of the encoders. Furthermore, to transfer modality-specific representations, we propose to incorporate auxiliary tokens in the bottleneck stage to model interaction between full and missing-modality paths. On top of that, we include feature consistency losses to reduce the domain gap in network prediction and increase the prediction reliability for the missing modality path. Extensive experiments on the BraTS 2018 dataset demonstrate the benefits of our approach compared to competing approaches. The implementation code will be publicly available after the paper acceptance.