Although neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is a crucial component of treatment for locally advanced breast cancer (LABC), only about 70% of patients respond to it. Effective adjustment of NAC for individual patients can significantly improve survival rates of those resistant to standard regimens. Thus, the early prediction of NAC outcome is of great importance in facilitating a personalized paradigm for breast cancer therapeutics. In this study, quantitative computed tomography (qCT) parametric imaging in conjunction with machine learning techniques were investigated to predict LABC tumor response to NAC. Textural and second derivative textural (SDT) features of CT images of 72 patients diagnosed with LABC were analysed before the initiation of NAC to quantify intra-tumor heterogeneity. These quantitative features were processed through a correlation-based feature reduction followed by a sequential feature selection with a bootstrap 0.632+ area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) criterion. The best feature subset consisted of a combination of one textural and three SDT features. Using these features, an AdaBoost decision tree could predict the patient response with a cross-validated AUC accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of 0.88, 85%, 88% and 75%, respectively. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that a combination of textural and SDT features of CT images can be used to predict breast cancer response NAC prior to the start of treatment which can potentially facilitate early therapy adjustments.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.