Can radiomics help to predict skeletal muscle response to chemotherapy in stage IV non-small cell lung cancer?

E. E. C. de Jong, K. J. C. Sanders, T. M. Deist, W. van Elmpt, A. Jochems, J. E. van Timmeren, R. T. H. Leijenaar, J. H. R. J. Degens, A. M. W. J. Schols, A. -M. C. Dingemans, P. Lambin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Muscle depletion negatively impacts treatment efficacy and survival rates in cancer. Prevention and timely treatment of muscle loss require prediction of patients at risk. We aimed to investigate the potential of skeletal muscle radiomic features to predict future muscle loss.

Methods: A total of 116 patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer included in a randomised controlled trial (NCT01171170) studying the effect of nitroglycerin added to paclitaxel-carboplatin-bevacizumab were enrolled. In this post hoc analysis, muscle cross-sectional area and radiomic features were extracted from computed tomography images obtained before initiation of chemotherapy and shortly after administration of the second cycle. For internal cross-validation, the cohort was randomly split in a training set and validation set 100 times. We used least absolute shrinkage and selection operator method to select features that were most significantly associated with muscle loss and an area under the curve (AUC) for model performance.

Results: Sixty-nine patients (59%) exhibited loss of skeletal muscle. One hundred ninety-three features were used to construct a prediction model for muscle loss. The average AUC was 0.49 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.36, 0.62). Differences in intensity and texture radiomic features over time were seen between patients with and without muscle loss.

Conclusions: The present study shows that skeletal muscle radiomics did not predict future muscle loss during chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer. Differences in radiomic features over time might reflect myosteatosis. Future imaging analysis combined with muscle tissue analysis in patients and in experimental models is needed to unravel the biological processes linked to the radiomic features. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Cachexia
  • Radiomics
  • Muscle
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Computed tomography
  • MASS

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