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In Frontiers in oncology

Background : Glioblastoma (GBM) and primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) are common in elderly yet difficult to differentiate on MRI. Their management and prognosis are quite different. Recent surge of interest in predictive analytics, using machine learning (ML) from radiomic features and deep learning (DL) for diagnosing, predicting response and prognosticating disease has evinced interest among radiologists and clinicians. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the deep learning & ML algorithms in classifying PCNSL from GBM.

Methods : The authors performed a systematic review of the literature from MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane central trials register for the search strategy in accordance with PRISMA guidelines to select and evaluate studies that included themes of ML, DL, AI, GBM, PCNSL. All studies reporting on ML algorithms or DL that for differentiating PCNSL from GBM on MR imaging were included. These studies were further narrowed down to focus on works published between 2018 and 2021. Two researchers independently conducted the literature screening, database extraction and risk bias assessment. The extracted data was synthesised and analysed by forest plots. Outcomes assessed were test characteristics such as accuracy, sensitivity, specificity and balanced accuracy.

Results : Ten articles meeting the eligibility criteria were identified addressing use of ML and DL in training and validation classifiers to distinguish PCNSL from GBM on MR imaging. The total sample size was 1311 in the included studies. ML approach was used in 6 studies while DL in 4 studies. The lowest reported sensitivity was 80%, while the highest reported sensitivity was 99% in studies in which ML and DL was directly compared with the gold standard histopathology. The lowest reported specificity was 87% while the highest reported specificity was 100%. The highest reported balanced accuracy was 100% and the lowest was 84%.

Conclusions : Extensive search of the database revealed a limited number of studies that have applied ML or DL to differentiate PCNSL from GBM. Of the currently published studies, Both DL & ML algorithms have demonstrated encouraging results and certainly have the potential to aid neurooncologists in taking preoperative decisions in the future leading to not only reduction in morbidities but also be cost effective.

Guha Amrita, Goda Jayant S, Dasgupta Archya, Mahajan Abhishek, Halder Soutik, Gawde Jeetendra, Talole Sanjay


deep learning, glioblastoma, machine learning, magnetic resonance imaging, metaanalysis, predictive analytics, primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma, systematic review