Radiomics of <sup>18</sup>F-FDG PET/CT images predicts clinical benefit of advanced NSCLC patients to checkpoint blockade immunotherapy.


Immunotherapy has improved outcomes for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), yet durable clinical benefit (DCB) is experienced in only a fraction of patients. Here, we test the hypothesis that radiomics features from baseline pretreatment <sup>18</sup>F-FDG PET/CT scans can predict clinical outcomes of NSCLC patients treated with checkpoint blockade immunotherapy.

This study included 194 patients with histologically confirmed stage IIIB-IV NSCLC with pretreatment PET/CT images. Radiomics features were extracted from PET, CT, and PET+CT fusion images based on minimum Kullback-Leibler divergence (KLD) criteria. The radiomics features from 99 retrospective patients were used to train a multiparametric radiomics signature (mpRS) to predict DCB using an improved least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) method, which was subsequently validated in both retrospective (N = 47) and prospective test cohorts (N = 48). Using these cohorts, the mpRS was also used to predict progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) by training nomogram models using multivariable Cox regression analyses with additional clinical characteristics incorporated.

The mpRS could predict patients who will receive DCB, with areas under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs) of 0.86 (95%CI 0.79-0.94), 0.83 (95%CI 0.71-0.94), and 0.81 (95%CI 0.68-0.92) in the training, retrospective test, and prospective test cohorts, respectively. In the same three cohorts, respectively, nomogram models achieved C-indices of 0.74 (95%CI 0.68-0.80), 0.74 (95%CI 0.66-0.82), and 0.77 (95%CI 0.69-0.84) to predict PFS and C-indices of 0.83 (95%CI 0.77-0.88), 0.83 (95%CI 0.71-0.94), and 0.80 (95%CI 0.69-0.91) to predict OS.

PET/CT-based signature can be used prior to initiation of immunotherapy to identify NSCLC patients most likely to benefit from immunotherapy. As such, these data may be leveraged to improve more precise and individualized decision support in the treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC.

  • Gillies RJ
  • Gray JE
  • Mu W
  • Qi J
  • Schabath MB
  • Tunali I
PubMed ID
Appears In
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging, 2020, 47 (5)