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Radiomics Analysis of Multiparametric PET/MRI for N- and M-Staging in Patients with Primary Cervical Cancer.

PURPOSE:  The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of multiparametric 18 F-FDG PET/MR imaging as a platform for radiomics analysis and machine learning algorithms based on primary cervical cancers to predict N- and M-stage in patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:  A total of 30 patients with histopathological confirmation of primary and untreated cervical cancer were prospectively enrolled for a multiparametric 18 F-FDG PET/MR examination, comprising a dedicated protocol for imaging of the female pelvis. The primary tumor in the uterine cervix was manually segmented on post-contrast T1-weighted images. Quantitative features were extracted from the segmented tumors using the Radiomic Image Processing Toolbox for the R software environment for statistical computing and graphics. 45 different image features were calculated from non-enhanced as well as post-contrast T1-weighted TSE images, T2-weighted TSE images, the ADC map, the parametric Ktrans, Kep, Ve and iAUC maps and PET images, respectively. Statistical analysis and modeling was performed using Python 3.5 and the scikit-learn software machine learning library for the Python programming language.

RESULTS:  Prediction of M-stage was superior when compared to N-stage. Prediction of M-stage using SVM with SVM-RFE as feature selection obtained the highest performance providing sensitivity of 91 % and specificity of 92 %. Using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis of the pooled predictions, the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.97. Prediction of N-stage using RBF-SVM with MIFS as feature selection reached sensitivity of 83 %, specificity of 67 % and an AUC of 0.82.

CONCLUSION:  M- and N-stage can be predicted based on isolated radiomics analyses of the primary tumor in cervical cancers, thus serving as a template for noninvasive tumor phenotyping and patient stratification using high-dimensional feature vectors extracted from multiparametric PET/MRI data.

KEY POINTS:   · Radiomics analysis based on multiparametric PET/MRI enables prediction of the metastatic status of cervical cancers. · Prediction of M-stage is superior to N-stage. · Multiparametric PET/MRI displays a valuable platform for radiomics analyses .

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