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In Liver cancer

Background : We aimed to evaluate the performance of a deep learning (DL)-based Radiomics strategy designed for analyzing contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) to not only predict the progression-free survival (PFS) of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and surgical resection (SR) but also optimize the treatment selection between them for patients with very-early or early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Methods : We retrospectively enrolled 419 patients examined by CEUS within 1 week before receiving RFA or SR (RFA: 214, SR: 205) from January 2008 to 2016. Two Radiomics signatures were constructed by the Radiomics model R-RFA and R-SR to stratify PFS of different treatment groups. Then, RFA and SR nomograms were built by incorporating Radiomics signatures and significant clinical variables to achieve individualized 2-year PFS prediction. Finally, we applied both Radiomics models and both nomograms to each enrolled patient to investigate whether there were space for treatment optimization and how much prognostic improvement could be expected.

Results : R-RFA and R-SR showed remarkable discrimination (C-index: 0.726 for RFA, 0.741 for SR). RFA and SR nomograms provided good 2-year PFS prediction accuracy and good calibrations. We identified 17.3% RFA patients and 27.3% SR patients should swap their treatment, so their average probability of 2-year PFS would increase 12 and 15%, respectively.

Conclusions : The proposed Radiomics models and nomograms achieved accurate preoperative prediction of PFS for RFA and SR, and they could facilitate the optimized treatment selection between them for patients with very-early or early-stage HCC.

Liu Fei, Liu Dan, Wang Kun, Xie Xiaohua, Su Liya, Kuang Ming, Huang Guangliang, Peng Baogang, Wang Yuqi, Lin Manxia, Tian Jie, Xie Xiaoyan


Contrast-enhanced ultrasound, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Radiofrequency ablation, Radiomics, Surgical resection