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In Frontiers in oncology

The heterogeneity and complexity of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors mean that NSCLC patients at the same stage can have different chemotherapy prognoses. Accurate predictive models could recognize NSCLC patients likely to respond to chemotherapy so that they can be given personalized and effective treatment. We propose to identify predictive imaging biomarkers from pre-treatment CT images and construct a radiomic model that can predict the chemotherapy response in NSCLC. This single-center cohort study included 280 NSCLC patients who received first-line chemotherapy treatment. Non-contrast CT images were taken before and after the chemotherapy, and clinical information were collected. Based on the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors and clinical criteria, the responses were classified into two categories: response (n = 145) and progression (n = 135), then all data were divided into two cohorts: training cohort (224 patients) and independent test cohort (56 patients). In total, 1629 features characterizing the tumor phenotype were extracted from a cube containing the tumor lesion cropped from the pre-chemotherapy CT images. After dimensionality reduction, predictive models of the chemotherapy response of NSCLC with different feature selection methods and different machine-learning classifiers (support vector machine, random forest, and logistic regression) were constructed. For the independent test cohort, the predictive model based on a random-forest classifier with 20 radiomic features achieved the best performance, with an accuracy of 85.7% and an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.941 (95% confidence interval, 0.898-0.982). Of the 20 selected features, four were first-order statistics of image intensity and the others were texture features. For nine features, there were significant differences between the response and progression groups (p < 0.001). In the response group, three features, indicating heterogeneity, were overrepresented and one feature indicating homogeneity was underrepresented. The proposed radiomic model with pre-chemotherapy CT features can predict the chemotherapy response of patients with non-small cell lung cancer. This radiomic model can help to stratify patients with NSCLC, thereby offering the prospect of better treatment.

Chang Runsheng, Qi Shouliang, Yue Yong, Zhang Xiaoye, Song Jiangdian, Qian Wei


CT images, chemotherapy response, lung cancer, machine learning, radiomics