Development of a robust radiomic biomarker of progression-free survival in advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with first-line immunotherapy

Apurva Singh, Hannah Horng, Leonid Roshkovan, Joanna K. Weeks, Michelle Hershman, Peter Noël, José Marcio Luna, Eric A. Cohen, Lauren Pantalone, Russell T. Shinohara, Joshua M. Bauml, Jeffrey C. Thompson, Charu Aggarwal, Erica L. Carpenter, Sharyn I. Katz, Despina Kontos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We aim to determine the feasibility of a novel radiomic biomarker that can integrate with other established clinical prognostic factors to predict progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) undergoing first-line immunotherapy. Our study includes 107 patients with stage 4 NSCLC treated with pembrolizumab-based therapy (monotherapy: 30%, combination chemotherapy: 70%). The ITK-SNAP software was used for 3D tumor volume segmentation from pre-therapy CT scans. Radiomic features (n = 102) were extracted using the CaPTk software. Impact of heterogeneity introduced by image physical dimensions (voxel spacing parameters) and acquisition parameters (contrast enhancement and CT reconstruction kernel) was mitigated by resampling the images to the minimum voxel spacing parameters and harmonization by a nested ComBat technique. This technique was initialized with radiomic features, clinical factors of age, sex, race, PD-L1 expression, ECOG status, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, recurrence event and months of progression-free survival, and image acquisition parameters as batch variables. Two phenotypes were identified using unsupervised hierarchical clustering of harmonized features. Prognostic factors, including PDL1 expression, ECOG status, BMI and smoking status, were combined with radiomic phenotypes in Cox regression models of PFS and Kaplan Meier (KM) curve-fitting. Cox model based on clinical factors had a c-statistic of 0.57, which increased to 0.63 upon addition of phenotypes derived from harmonized features. There were statistically significant differences in survival outcomes stratified by clinical covariates, as measured by the log-rank test (p = 0.034), which improved upon addition of phenotypes (p = 0.00022). We found that mitigation of heterogeneity by image resampling and nested ComBat harmonization improves prognostic value of phenotypes, resulting in better prediction of PFS when added to other prognostic variables.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9993
JournalScientific reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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