Background: To develop a supervised machine learning (ML) algorithm predicting above- versus below-median overall survival (OS) from diffusion-weighted imaging-derived radiomic features in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Methods: One hundred two patients with histopathologically proven PDAC were retrospectively assessed as training cohort, and 30 prospectively accrued and retrospectively enrolled patients served as independent validation cohort (IVC). Tumors were segmented on preoperative apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps, and radiomic features were extracted. A random forest ML algorithm was fit to the training cohort and tested in the IVC. Histopathological subtype of tumor samples was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 21 IVC patients. Individual radiomic feature importance was evaluated by assessment of tree node Gini impurity decrease and recursive feature elimination. Fisher’s exact test, 95% confidence intervals (CI), and receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (ROC-AUC) were used. Results: The ML algorithm achieved 87% sensitivity (95% IC 67.3–92.7), 80% specificity (95% CI 74.0–86.7), and ROC-AUC 90% for the prediction of above- versus below-median OS in the IVC. Heterogeneity-related features were highly ranked by the model. Of the 21 patients with determined histopathological subtype, 8/9 patients predicted to experience below-median OS exhibited the quasi-mesenchymal subtype, whilst 11/12 patients predicted to experience above-median OS exhibited a non-quasi-mesenchymal subtype (p < 0.001). Conclusion: ML application to ADC radiomics allowed OS prediction with a high diagnostic accuracy in an IVC. The high overlap of clinically relevant histopathological subtypes with model predictions underlines the potential of quantitative imaging in PDAC pre-operative subtyping and prognosis.
- Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging
- Machine learning
- Pancreatic carcinoma
- Survival analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging