Kaplan–Meier curves analysis between responders and nonresponders with unresectable HCC treated with lenvatinib monotherapy. (A) Kaplan–Meier curves of overall survival between responders and nonresponders; (B) Kaplan–Meier curves of progression-free survival between responders and nonresponders. Abbreviations: HCC, hepatocellular carcinoma; HR, hazard ratio.
ARTICLE ABSTRACTWe aimed to construct machine learning (ML) radiomics models to predict response to lenvatinib monotherapy for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Patients with HCC receiving lenvatinib monotherapy at three institutions were retrospectively identified and assigned to training and external validation cohorts. Tumor response after initiation of lenvatinib was evaluated. Radiomics features were extracted from contrast-enhanced CT images. The K-means clustering algorithm was used to distinguish radiomics-based subtypes. Ten ML radiomics models were constructed and internally validated by 10-fold cross-validation. These models were subsequently verified in an external validation cohort.
A total of 109 patients were identified for analysis, namely, 74 in the training cohort and 35 in the external validation cohort. Thirty-two patients showed partial response, 33 showed stable disease, and 44 showed progressive disease. The overall response rate (ORR) was 29.4%, and the disease control rate was 59.6%. A total of 224 radiomics features were extracted, and 25 significant features were identified for further analysis. Two distant radiomics-based subtypes were identified by K-means clustering, and subtype 1 was associated with a higher ORR and longer progression-free survival (PFS). Among the 10 ML algorithms, AutoGluon displayed the highest predictive performance (AUC = 0.97), which was relatively stable in the validation cohort (AUC = 0.93). Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that responders had a better overall survival [HR = 0.21; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.12–0.36; P < 0.001] and PFS (HR = 0.14; 95% CI: 0.09–0.22; P < 0.001) than nonresponders.
Valuable ML radiomics models were constructed, with favorable performance in predicting the response to lenvatinib monotherapy for unresectable HCC.