Radiomics for predicting lung cancer outcomes following radiotherapy: a systematic review

G M Walls, S O S Osman, K H Brown, K T Butterworth, G G Hanna, A R Hounsell, C K McGarry, R T H Leijenaar, P Lambin, A J Cole, S Jain

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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Lung cancer's radiomic phenotype may potentially inform clinical decision-making with respect to radical radiotherapy. At present there are no validated biomarkers available for the individualisation of radical radiotherapy in lung cancer and the mortality rate of this disease remains the highest of all other solid tumours. MEDLINE was searched using the terms 'radiomics' and 'lung cancer' according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Met-Analyses (PRISMA) guidance. Radiomics studies were defined as those manuscripts describing the extraction and analysis of at least 10 quantifiable imaging features. Only those studies assessing disease control, survival or toxicity outcomes for patients with lung cancer following radical radiotherapy ± chemotherapy were included. Study titles and abstracts were reviewed by two independent reviewers. The Radiomics Quality Score was applied to the full text of included papers. Of 244 returned results, 44 studies met the eligibility criteria for inclusion. End points frequently reported were local (17%), regional (17%) and distant control (31%), overall survival (79%) and pulmonary toxicity (4%). Imaging features strongly associated with clinical outcomes include texture features belonging to the subclasses Gray level run length matrix, Gray level co-occurrence matrix and kurtosis. The median cohort size for model development was 100 (15-645); in the 11 studies with external validation in a separate independent population, the median cohort size was 84 (21-295). The median number of imaging features extracted was 184 (10-6538). The median Radiomics Quality Score was 11% (0-47). Patient-reported outcomes were not incorporated within any studies identified. No studies externally validated a radiomics signature in a registered prospective study. Imaging-derived indices attained through radiomic analyses could equip thoracic oncologists with biomarkers for treatment response, patterns of failure, normal tissue toxicity and survival in lung cancer. Based on routine scans, their non-invasive nature and cost-effectiveness are major advantages over conventional pathological assessment. Improved tools are required for the appraisal of radiomics studies, as significant barriers to clinical implementation remain, such as standardisation of input scan data, quality of reporting and external validation of signatures in randomised, interventional clinical trials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E107-E122
JournalClinical oncology (Royal College of Radiologists (Great Britain))
Issue number3
Early online date07 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2022


  • lung cancer
  • radiomics
  • Biomarker
  • deep learning
  • radiotherapy


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