Background: We evaluated the value of pre-treatment positron-emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT)-based radiomic features in predicting the locoregional progression-free survival (LR-PFS) of patients with inoperable or unresectable oesophageal cancer.
Material and methods: Forty-six patients were included and 230 radiomic parameters were extracted. After a principal component analysis (PCA), we identified the more robust radiomic parameters, and we used them to develop a heatmap. Finally, we correlated these radiomic features with LR-PFS.
Results: The median follow-up time was 17 months. The two-year LR-PFS and PFS rates were 35.9% (95% CI: 18.9-53.3) and 21.6% (95%CI: 10.0-36.2), respectively. After the correlation analysis, we identified 55 radiomic parameters that were included in the heatmap. According to the results of the hierarchical clustering, we identified two groups of patients presenting statistically different median LR-PFSs (22.8 months vs. 9.9 months; HR = 2.64; 95% CI 0.97-7.15; p = 0.0573). We also identified two radiomic features ("F_rlm_rl_entr_per" and "F_rlm_2_5D_rl_entr") significantly associated with LR-PFS. Patients expressing a "F_rlm_2_5D_rl_entr" of <3.3 had a better median LR- PFS (29.4 months vs. 8.2 months; p = 0.0343). Patients presenting a "F_rlm_rl_entr_per" of <4.7 had a better median LR-PFS (50.4 months vs. 9.9 months; p = 0.0132).
Conclusion: We identified two radiomic signatures associated with a lower risk of locoregional relapse after CRT.
Keywords: 18-FDG PET-CT; chemoradiotherapy; neoadjuvant treatment; oesophageal cancer; predictive factors; radiomics.