Lymphocyte detection for cancer analysis using a novel fusion block based channel boosted CNN

Zunaira Rauf, Abdul Rehman Khan, Anabia Sohail, Hani Ali Alquhayz, Jeonghwan Gwak, Asifullah Farhan Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, specialized immune cells, are considered an important biomarker in cancer analysis. Automated lymphocyte detection is challenging due to its heterogeneous morphology, variable distribution, and presence of artifacts. In this work, we propose a novel Boosted Channels Fusion-based CNN “BCF-Lym-Detector” for lymphocyte detection in multiple cancer histology images. The proposed network initially selects candidate lymphocytic regions at the tissue level and then detects lymphocytes at the cellular level. The proposed “BCF-Lym-Detector” generates diverse boosted channels by utilizing the feature learning capability of different CNN architectures. In this connection, a new adaptive fusion block is developed to combine and select the most relevant lymphocyte-specific features from the generated enriched feature space. Multi-level feature learning is used to retain lymphocytic spatial information and detect lymphocytes with variable appearances. The assessment of the proposed “BCF-Lym-Detector” show substantial improvement in terms of F-score (0.93 and 0.84 on LYSTO and NuClick, respectively), which suggests that the diverse feature extraction and dynamic feature selection enhanced the feature learning capacity of the proposed network. Moreover, the proposed technique’s generalization on unseen test sets with a good recall (0.75) and F-score (0.73) shows its potential use for pathologists’ assistance. © 2023, Springer Nature Limited.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • artifact
  • biology
  • human
  • lymphocyte
  • neoplasm
  • tumor associated leukocyte
  • Artifacts
  • Biology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes
  • Tumor-Infiltrating
  • Neoplasms


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