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In Nan fang yi ke da xue xue bao = Journal of Southern Medical University

OBJECTIVE : To screen the risk factors for death in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) using artificial intelligence (AI) technology and establish a risk prediction model.

METHODS : The clinical data of NPC patients obtained from SEER database (1973-2015). The patients were randomly divided into model building and verification group at a 7∶3 ratio. Based on the data in the model building group, R software was used to identify the risk factors for death in NPC patients using 4 AI algorithms, namely eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost), Decision Tree (DT), Least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) and random forest (RF), and a risk prediction model was constructed based on the risk factor identified. The C-Index, decision curve analysis (DCA), receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and calibration curve (CC) were used for internal validation of the model; the data in the validation group and clinical data of 96 NPC patients (collected from First Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College) were used for internal and external validation of the model.

RESULTS : The clinical data of a total of 2116 NPC patients were included (1484 in model building group and 632 in verification group). Risk factor screening showed that age, race, gender, stage M, stage T, and stage N were all risk factors of death in NPC patients. The risk prediction model for NPC-related death constructed based on these factors had a C-index of 0.76 for internal evaluation, an AUC of 0.74 and a net benefit rate of DCA of 9%-93%. The C-index of the model in internal verification was 0.740 with an AUC of 0.749 and a net benefit rate of DCA of 3%-89%, suggesting a high consistency of the two calibration curves. In external verification, the C-index of this model was 0.943 with a net benefit rate of DCA of 3%-97% and an AUC of 0.851, and the predicted value was consistent with the actual value.

CONCLUSIONS : Gender, age, race and TNM stage are risk factors of death of NPC patients, and the risk prediction model based on these factors can accurately predict the risks of death in NPC patients.

Zhang H, Lu J, Jiang C, Fang M


artificial intelligence, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, nomogram, predictive model, risk factors