Chang, Lafata, Sun, Wang, Chang, Kirkpatrick, Yin (2019) An investigation of machine learning methods in delta-radiomics feature analysis PloS one 14(12) e0226348


This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of using delta-radiomics to predict overall survival (OS) for patients with recurrent malignant gliomas treated by concurrent stereotactic radiosurgery and bevacizumab, and to investigate the effectiveness of machine learning methods for delta-radiomics feature selection and building classification models. The pre-treatment, one-week post-treatment, and two-month post-treatment T1 and T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) MRI were acquired. 61 radiomic features (intensity histogram-based, morphological, and texture features) were extracted from the gross tumor volume in each image. Delta-radiomics were calculated between the pre-treatment and post-treatment features. Univariate Cox regression and 3 multivariate machine learning methods (L1-regularized logistic regression [L1-LR], random forest [RF] or neural networks [NN]) were used to select a reduced number of features, and 7 machine learning methods (L1-LR, L2-LR, RF, NN, kernel support vector machine [KSVM], linear support vector machine [LSVM], or naïve bayes [NB]) was used to build classification models for predicting OS. The performances of the total 21 model combinations built based on single-time-point radiomics (pre-treatment, one-week post-treatment, and two-month post-treatment) and delta-radiomics were evaluated by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). For a small cohort of 12 patients, delta-radiomics resulted in significantly higher AUC than pre-treatment radiomics (p-value<0.01). One-week/two-month delta-features resulted in significantly higher AUC (p-value<0.01) than the one-week/two-month post-treatment features, respectively. 18/21 model combinations were with higher AUC from one-week delta-features than two-month delta-features. With one-week delta-features, RF feature selector + KSVM classifier and RF feature selector + NN classifier showed the highest AUC of 0.889. The results indicated that delta-features could potentially provide better treatment assessment than single-time-point features. The treatment assessment is substantially affected by the time point for computing the delta-features and the combination of machine learning methods for feature selection and classification.


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