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SagaNet: A Small Sample Gated Network for Pediatric Cancer Diagnosis

Yuhan Liu · Shiliang Sun


The scarcity of available samples and the high annotation cost of medical data cause a bottleneck in many digital diagnosis tasks based on deep learning. This problem is especially severe in pediatric tumor tasks, due to the small population base of children and high sample diversity caused by the high metastasis rate of related tumors. Targeted research on pediatric tumors is urgently needed but lacks sufficient attention. In this work, we propose a novel model to solve the diagnosis task of small round blue cell tumors (SRBCTs). To solve the problem of high noise and high diversity in the small sample scenario, the model is constrained to pay attention to the valid areas in the pathological image with a masking mechanism, and a length-aware loss is proposed to improve the tolerance to feature diversity. We evaluate this framework on a challenging small sample SRBCTs dataset, whose classification is difficult even for professional pathologists. The proposed model shows the best performance compared with state-of-the-art deep models and generalization on another pathological dataset, which illustrates the potentiality of deep learning applications in difficult small sample medical tasks.

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