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Predicting Survival Using Whole-Liver MRI Radiomics in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma After TACE Refractoriness.

PURPOSE: To develop a model based on whole-liver radiomics features of pre-treatment enhanced MRI for predicting the prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients undergoing continued transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) after TACE-resistance.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data from 111 TACE-resistant HCC patients between January 2014 and March 2018 were retrospectively collected. At a ratio of 7:3, patients were randomly assigned to developing and validation cohorts. The whole-liver were manually segmented, and the radiomics signature was extracted. The tumor and liver radiomics score (TLrad-score) was calculated. Models were trained by machine learning algorithms and their predictive efficacies were compared.

RESULTS: Tumor stage, tumor burden, body mass index, alpha-fetoprotein, and vascular invasion were revealed as independent risk factors for survival. The model trained by Random Forest algorithms based on tumor burden, whole-liver radiomics signature, and clinical features had the highest predictive efficacy, with c-index values of 0.85 and 0.80 and areas under the ROC curve of 0.96 and 0.83 in the developing cohort and validation cohort, respectively. In the high-rad-score group (TLrad-score > - 0.34), the median overall survival (mOS) was significantly shorter than in the low-rad-score group (17 m vs. 37 m, p < 0.001). A shorter mOS was observed in patients with high tumor burden compared to those with low tumor burden (14 m vs. 29 m, p = 0.007).

CONCLUSION: The combined radiomics model from whole-liver signatures may effectively predict survival for HCC patients continuing TACE after TACE refractoriness. The TLrad-score and tumor burden are potential prognostic markers for TACE therapy following TACE-resistance.

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