Cancer Imaging

Most-enhancing tumor volume by MRI radiomics predicts recurrence-free survival “early on” in neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer

Drukker K, Li H, Antropova N, Edwards A, Papaioannou J, Giger ML

Background: The hypothesis of this study was that MRI-based radiomics has the ability to predict recurrence-free survival “early on” in breast cancer neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Methods: A subset, based on availability, of the ACRIN 6657 dynamic contrast-enhanced MR images was used in which we analyzed images of all women imaged at pre-treatment baseline (141 women: 40 with a recurrence, 101 without) and all those imaged after completion of the first cycle of chemotherapy, i.e., at early treatment (143 women: 37 with a recurrence vs. 105 without). Our method was completely automated apart from manual localization of the approximate tumor center. The most enhancing tumor volume (METV) was automatically calculated for the pre-treatment and early treatment exams. Performance of METV in the task of predicting a recurrence was evaluated using ROC analysis. The association of recurrence-free survival with METV was assessed using a Cox regression model controlling for patient age, race, and hormone receptor status and evaluated by C-statistics. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to estimate survival functions.

Results: The C-statistics for the association of METV with recurrence-free survival were 0.69 with 95% confidence interval of [0.58; 0.80] at pre-treatment and 0.72 [0.60; 0.84] at early treatment. The hazard ratios calculated from Kaplan-Meier curves were 2.28 [1.08; 4.61], 3.43 [1.83; 6.75], and 4.81 [2.16; 10.72] for the lowest quartile, median quartile, and upper quartile cut-points for METV at early treatment, respectively.

Conclusion: The performance of the automatically-calculated METV rivaled that of a semi-manual model described for the ACRIN 6657 study (published C-statistic 0.72 [0.60; 0.84]), which involved the same dataset but required semi-manual delineation of the functional tumor volume (FTV) and knowledge of the pre-surgical residual cancer burden..

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