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Dual-Curriculum Contrastive Multi-Instance Learning for Cancer Prognosis Analysis with Whole Slide Images

CHAO TU · YU ZHANG · Zhenyuan Ning

Keywords: [ Prognosis Analysis ] [ contrastive learning ] [ Multi-Instance Learning ] [ curriculum learning ] [ Whole Slide Images ]


The multi-instance learning (MIL) has advanced cancer prognosis analysis with whole slide images (WSIs). However, current MIL methods for WSI analysis still confront unique challenges. Previous methods typically generate instance representations via a pre-trained model or a model trained by the instances with bag-level annotations, which, however, may not generalize well to the downstream task due to the introduction of excessive label noises and the lack of fine-grained information across multi-magnification WSIs. Additionally, existing methods generally aggregate instance representations as bag ones for prognosis prediction and have no consideration of intra-bag redundancy and inter-bag discrimination. To address these issues, we propose a dual-curriculum contrastive MIL method for cancer prognosis analysis with WSIs. The proposed method consists of two curriculums, i.e., saliency-guided weakly-supervised instance encoding with cross-scale tiles and contrastive-enhanced soft-bag prognosis inference. Extensive experiments on three public datasets demonstrate that our method outperforms state-of-the-art methods in this field. The code is available at

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