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Radiomics signature for dynamic changes of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells and macrophages in cervical cancer during chemoradiotherapy.

BACKGROUND: Our previous study suggests that tumor CD8+ T cells and macrophages (defined as CD68+ cells) infiltration underwent dynamic and heterogeneous changes during concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) in cervical cancer patients, which correlated with their short-term tumor response. This study aims to develop a CT image-based radiomics signature for such dynamic changes.

METHODS: Thirty cervical squamous cell carcinoma patients, who were treated with CCRT followed by brachytherapy, were included in this study. Pre-therapeutic CT images were acquired. And tumor biopsies with immunohistochemistry at primary sites were performed at baseline (0 fraction (F)) and immediately after 10F. Radiomics features were extracted from the region of interest (ROI) of CT images using Matlab. The LASSO regression model with ten-fold cross-validation was utilized to select features and construct an immunomarker classifier and a radiomics signature. Their performance was evaluated by the area under the curve (AUC).

RESULTS: The changes of tumor-infiltrating CD8+T cells and macrophages after 10F radiotherapy as compared to those at baseline were used to generate the immunomarker classifier (AUC= 0.842, 95% CI:0.680-1.000). Additionally, a radiomics signature was developed using 4 key radiomics features to predict the immunomarker classifier (AUC=0.875, 95% CI:0.753-0.997). The patients stratified based on this signature exhibited significant differences in treatment response (p = 0.004).

CONCLUSION: The radiomics signature could be used as a potential predictor for the CCRT-induced dynamic alterations of CD8+ T cells and macrophages, which may provide a less invasive approach to appraise tumor immune status during CCRT in cervical cancer compared to tissue biopsy.

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