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In Therapeutic advances in medical oncology

Background : To explore the prognostic value of radiomics-based and digital pathology-based imaging biomarkers from macroscopic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and microscopic whole-slide images for patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

Methods : We recruited 220 NPC patients and divided them into training (n = 132), internal test (n = 44), and external test (n = 44) cohorts. The primary endpoint was failure-free survival (FFS). Radiomic features were extracted from pretreatment MRI and selected and integrated into a radiomic signature. The histopathological signature was extracted from whole-slide images of biopsy specimens using an end-to-end deep-learning method. Incorporating two signatures and independent clinical factors, a multi-scale nomogram was constructed. We also tested the correlation between the key imaging features and genetic alternations in an independent cohort of 16 patients (biological test cohort).

Results : Both radiomic and histopathologic signatures presented significant associations with treatment failure in the three cohorts (C-index: 0.689-0.779, all p < 0.050). The multi-scale nomogram showed a consistent significant improvement for predicting treatment failure compared with the clinical model in the training (C-index: 0.817 versus 0.730, p < 0.050), internal test (C-index: 0.828 versus 0.602, p < 0.050) and external test (C-index: 0.834 versus 0.679, p < 0.050) cohorts. Furthermore, patients were stratified successfully into two groups with distinguishable prognosis (log-rank p < 0.0010) using our nomogram. We also found that two texture features were related to the genetic alternations of chromatin remodeling pathways in another independent cohort.

Conclusion : The multi-scale imaging features showed a complementary value in prognostic prediction and may improve individualized treatment in NPC.

Zhang Fan, Zhong Lian-Zhen, Zhao Xun, Dong Di, Yao Ji-Jin, Wang Si-Yang, Liu Ye, Zhu Ding, Wang Yin, Wang Guo-Jie, Wang Yi-Ming, Li Dan, Wei Jiang, Tian Jie, Shan Hong


digital pathology, multi-scale features, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, radiomics, survival analysis