Background: In patients with soft-tissue sarcomas, tumor grading constitutes a decisive factor to determine the best treatment decision. Tumor grading is obtained by pathological work-up after focal biopsies. Deep learning (DL)-based imaging analysis may pose an alternative way to characterize STS tissue. In this work, we sought to non-invasively differentiate tumor grading into low-grade (G1) and high-grade (G2/G3) STS using DL techniques based on MR-imaging. Methods: Contrast-enhanced T1-weighted fat-saturated (T1FSGd) MRI sequences and fat-saturated T2-weighted (T2FS) sequences were collected from two independent retrospective cohorts (training: 148 patients, testing: 158 patients). Tumor grading was determined following the French Federation of Cancer Centers Sarcoma Group in pre-therapeutic biopsies. DL models were developed using transfer learning based on the DenseNet 161 architecture. Results: The T1FSGd and T2FS-based DL models achieved area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AUC) values of 0.75 and 0.76 on the test cohort, respectively. T1FSGd achieved the best F1-score of all models (0.90). The T2FS-based DL model was able to significantly risk-stratify for overall survival. Attention maps revealed relevant features within the tumor volume and in border regions. Conclusions: MRI-based DL models are capable of predicting tumor grading with good reproducibility in external validation.
|State||Published - Jun 2 2021|
- Artificial intelligence
- Convolutional neural networks
- Deep learning
- Machine learning
- Soft-tissue sarcomas
- Tumor grading