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In EJNMMI research

BACKGROUND : Careful selection of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) patients for curative treatment is of highest importance, as the multimodal treatment regimen is challenging for patients and harbors a high risk of substantial toxicity. Radiomics-a quantitative method for image analysis-has shown its prognostic ability in different tumor entities and could therefore play an important role in optimizing patient selection for radical cancer treatment. So far, radiomics as a prognostic tool in MPM was not investigated.

MATERIALS AND METHODS : This study is based on 72 MPM patients treated with surgery in a curative intent at our institution between 2009 and 2017. Pre-treatment Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET and CT scans were used for radiomics outcome modeling. After extraction of 1404 CT and 1410 FDG PET features from each image, a preselection by principal component analysis was performed to include only robust, non-redundant features for the cox regression to predict the progression-free survival (PFS) and the overall survival (OS). Results were validated on a separate cohort. Additionally, SUVmax and SUVmean, and volume were tested for their prognostic ability for PFS and OS.

RESULTS : For the PFS a concordance index (c-index) of 0.67 (95% CI 0.52-0.82) and 0.66 (95% CI 0.57-0.78) for the training cohort (n = 36) and internal validation cohort (n = 36), respectively, were obtained for the PET radiomics model. The PFS advantage of the low-risk group translated also into an OS advantage. On CT images, no radiomics model could be trained. SUV max and SUV mean were also not prognostic in terms of PFS and OS.

CONCLUSION : We were able to build a successful FDG PET radiomics model for the prediction of PFS in MPM. Radiomics could serve as a tool to aid clinical decision support systems for treatment of MPM in future.

Pavic M, Bogowicz M, Kraft J, Vuong D, Mayinger M, Kroeze S G C, Friess M, Frauenfelder T, Andratschke N, Huellner M, Weder W, Guckenberger M, Tanadini-Lang S, Opitz I


Artificial intelligence, Clinical decision support system, Machine learning, Malignant pleural mesothelioma, Prognostic model, Radiomics