Journal Article
. 2020 Dec;3(12).
doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.28086.

Development and Validation of a Preoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Radiomics-Based Signature to Predict Axillary Lymph Node Metastasis and Disease-Free Survival in Patients With Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Yunfang Yu 1 Yujie Tan 1 Chuanmiao Xie 2 Qiugen Hu 3 Jie Ouyang 4 Yongjian Chen 5 Yang Gu 1 Anlin Li 6 Nian Lu 2 Zifan He 1 Yaping Yang 1 Kai Chen 1 Jiafan Ma 1 Chenchen Li 1 Mudi Ma 1 Xiaohong Li 3 Rong Zhang 3 Haitao Zhong 3 Qiyun Ou 1 Yiwen Zhang 1 Yufang He 4 Gang Li 4 Zhuo Wu 1 Fengxi Su 1 Erwei Song 1 Herui Yao 1 
  • PMID: 33289845
  •     20 References
  •     1 citations


Importance: Axillary lymph node metastasis (ALNM) status, typically estimated using an invasive procedure with a high false-negative rate, strongly affects the prognosis of recurrence in breast cancer. However, preoperative noninvasive tools to accurately predict ALNM status and disease-free survival (DFS) are lacking.

Objective: To develop and validate dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) radiomic signatures for preoperative identification of ALNM and to assess individual DFS in patients with early-stage breast cancer.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This retrospective prognostic study included patients with histologically confirmed early-stage breast cancer diagnosed at 4 hospitals in China from July 3, 2007, to September 21, 2019, randomly divided (7:3) into development and vaidation cohorts. All patients underwent preoperative MRI scans, were treated with surgery and sentinel lymph node biopsy or ALN dissection, and were pathologically examined to determine the ALNM status. Data analysis was conducted from February 15, 2019, to March 20, 2020.

Exposure: Clinical and DCE-MRI radiomic signatures.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end points were ALNM and DFS.

Results: This study included 1214 women (median [IQR] age, 47 [42-55] years), split into development (849 [69.9%]) and validation (365 [30.1%]) cohorts. The radiomic signature identified ALNM in the development and validation cohorts with areas under the curve (AUCs) of 0.88 and 0.85, respectively, and the clinical-radiomic nomogram accurately predicted ALNM in the development and validation cohorts (AUC, 0.92 and 0.90, respectively) based on a least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO)-logistic regression model. The radiomic signature predicted 3-year DFS in the development and validation cohorts (AUC, 0.81 and 0.73, respectively), and the clinical-radiomic nomogram could discriminate high-risk from low-risk patients in the development cohort (hazard ratio [HR], 0.04; 95% CI, 0.01-0.11; P < .001) and the validation cohort (HR, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.004-0.32; P < .001) based on a random forest-Cox regression model. The clinical-radiomic nomogram was associated with 3-year DFS in the development and validation cohorts (AUC, 0.89 and 0.90, respectively). The decision curve analysis demonstrated that the clinical-radiomic nomogram displayed better clinical predictive usefulness than the clinical or radiomic signature alone.

Conclusions And Relevance: This study described the application of MRI-based machine learning in patients with breast cancer, presenting novel individualized clinical decision nomograms that could be used to predict ALNM status and DFS. The clinical-radiomic nomograms were useful in clinical decision-making associated with personalized selection of surgical interventions and therapeutic regimens for patients with early-stage breast cancer.

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