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In Frontiers in oncology

Objectives : In radiomics, high-throughput algorithms extract objective quantitative features from medical images. In this study, we evaluated CT-based radiomics features, clinical features, in-depth learning features, and a combination of features for predicting a good pathological response (GPR) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients receiving immunotherapy-based neoadjuvant therapy (NAT).

Materials and methods : We reviewed 62 patients with NSCLC who received surgery after immunotherapy-based NAT and collected clinicopathological data and CT images before and after immunotherapy-based NAT. A series of image preprocessing was carried out on CT scanning images: tumor segmentation, conventional radiomics feature extraction, deep learning feature extraction, and normalization. Spearman correlation coefficient, principal component analysis (PCA), and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) were used to screen features. The pretreatment traditional radiomics combined with clinical characteristics (before_rad_cil) model and pretreatment deep learning characteristics (before_dl) model were constructed according to the data collected before treatment. The data collected after NAT created the after_rad_cil model and after_dl model. The entire model was jointly constructed by all clinical features, conventional radiomics features, and deep learning features before and after neoadjuvant treatment. Finally, according to the data obtained before and after treatment, the before_nomogram and after_nomogram were constructed.

Results : In the before_rad_cil model, four traditional radiomics features ("original_shape_flatness," "wavelet hhl_firer_skewness," "wavelet hlh_firer_skewness," and "wavelet lll_glcm_correlation") and two clinical features ("gender" and "N stage") were screened out to predict a GPR. The average prediction accuracy (ACC) after modeling with k-nearest neighbor (KNN) was 0.707. In the after_rad_cil model, nine features predictive of GPR were obtained after feature screening, among which seven were traditional radiomics features: "exponential_firer_skewness," "exponential_glrlm_runentropy," "log- sigma-5-0-mm-3d_firer_kurtosis," "logarithm_skewness," "original_shape_elongation," "original_shape_brilliance," and "wavelet llh_glcm_clustershade"; two were clinical features: "after_CRP" and "after lymphocyte percentage." The ACC after modeling with support vector machine (SVM) was 0.682. The before_dl model and after_dl model were modeled by SVM, and the ACC was 0.629 and 0.603, respectively. After feature screening, the entire model was constructed by multilayer perceptron (MLP), and the ACC of the GPR was the highest, 0.805. The calibration curve showed that the predictions of the GPR by the before_nomogram and after_nomogram were in consensus with the actual GPR.

Conclusion : CT-based radiomics has a good predictive ability for a GPR in NSCLC patients receiving immunotherapy-based NAT. Among the radiomics features combined with the clinicopathological information model, deep learning feature model, and the entire model, the entire model had the highest prediction accuracy.

Lin Qian, Wu Hai Jun, Song Qi Shi, Tang Yu Kai


NSCLC, biomarkers, immunotherapy, neoadjuvant therapy, lung cancer, pathological response, radiomics