DOI: 10.1007/s00259-017-3837-7Pages: 207-217

Prediction of disease-free survival by the PET/CT radiomic signature in non-small cell lung cancer patients undergoing surgery

1. Humanitas University, Department of Biomedical Sciences

2. Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Radiotherapy and Radiosurgery

3. Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Nuclear Medicine

4. Orobix Srl

5. Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Thoracic Surgery

6. Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Radiology

Correspondence to:
Martina Sollini
Tel: +39 02 8224 6621




Radiomic features derived from the texture analysis of different imaging modalities e show promise in lesion characterisation, response prediction, and prognostication in lung cancer patients. The present study aimed to identify an images-based radiomic signature capable of predicting disease-free survival (DFS) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients undergoing surgery.


A cohort of 295 patients was selected. Clinical parameters (age, sex, histological type, tumour grade, and stage) were recorded for all patients. The endpoint of this study was DFS. Both computed tomography (CT) and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PET) images generated from the PET/CT scanner were analysed. Textural features were calculated using the LifeX package. Statistical analysis was performed using the R platform. The datasets were separated into two cohorts by random selection to perform training and validation of the statistical models. Predictors were fed into a multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression model and the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve as well as the corresponding area under the curve (AUC) were computed for each model built.


The Cox models that included radiomic features for the CT, the PET, and the PET+CT images resulted in an AUC of 0.75 (95%CI: 0.65–0.85), 0.68 (95%CI: 0.57–0.80), and 0.68 (95%CI: 0.58–0.74), respectively. The addition of clinical predictors to the Cox models resulted in an AUC of 0.61 (95%CI: 0.51–0.69), 0.64 (95%CI: 0.53–0.75), and 0.65 (95%CI: 0.50–0.72) for the CT, the PET, and the PET+CT images, respectively.


A radiomic signature, for either CT, PET, or PET/CT images, has been identified and validated for the prediction of disease-free survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated by surgery.

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  • Accepted: Sep 14, 2017
  • Online: Sep 24, 2017

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