Background: Radiomics is a new technology to noninvasively predict survival prognosis with quantitative features extracted from medical images. Most radiomics-based prognostic studies of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients have used mixed datasets of different subgroups. Therefore, we investigated the radiomics-based survival prediction of NSCLC patients by focusing on subgroups with identical characteristics. Methods: A total of 304 NSCLC (Stages I–IV) patients treated with radiotherapy in our hospital were used. We extracted 107 radiomic features (i.e., 14 shape features, 18 first-order statistical features, and 75 texture features) from the gross tumor volume drawn on the free breathing planning computed tomography image. Three feature selection methods [i.e., test–retest and multiple segmentation (FS1), Pearson's correlation analysis (FS2), and a method that combined FS1 and FS2 (FS3)] were used to clarify how they affect survival prediction performance. Subgroup analysis for each histological subtype and each T stage applied the best selection method for the analysis of All data. We used a least absolute shrinkage and selection operator Cox regression model for all analyses and evaluated prognostic performance using the concordance-index (C-index) and the Kaplan–Meier method. For subgroup analysis, fivefold cross-validation was applied to ensure model reliability. Results: In the analysis of All data, the C-index for the test dataset is 0.62 (FS1), 0.63 (FS2), and 0.62 (FS3). The subgroup analysis indicated that the prediction model based on specific histological subtypes and T stages had a higher C-index for the test dataset than that based on All data (All data, 0.64 vs. SCCall, 060; ADCall, 0.69; T1, 0.68; T2, 0.65; T3, 0.66; T4, 0.70). In addition, the prediction models unified for each T stage in histological subtype showed a different trend in the C-index for the test dataset between ADC-related and SCC-related models (ADCT1–ADCT4, 0.72–0.83; SCCT1–SCCT4, 0.58–0.71). Conclusions: Our results showed that feature selection methods moderately affected the survival prediction performance. In addition, prediction models based on specific subgroups may improve the prediction performance. These results may prove useful for determining the optimal radiomics-based predication model.
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