BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: To optimize our previously proposed TransRP, a model integrating CNN (convolutional neural network) and ViT (Vision Transformer) designed for recurrence-free survival prediction in oropharyngeal cancer and to extend its application to the prediction of multiple clinical outcomes, including locoregional control (LRC), Distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) and overall survival (OS).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data was collected from 400 patients (300 for training and 100 for testing) diagnosed with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) who underwent (chemo)radiotherapy at University Medical Center Groningen. Each patient's data comprised pre-treatment PET/CT scans, clinical parameters, and clinical outcome endpoints, namely LRC, DMFS and OS. The prediction performance of TransRP was compared with CNNs when inputting image data only. Additionally, three distinct methods (m1-3) of incorporating clinical predictors into TransRP training and one method (m4) that uses TransRP prediction as one parameter in a clinical Cox model were compared.

RESULTS: TransRP achieved higher test C-index values of 0.61, 0.84 and 0.70 than CNNs for LRC, DMFS and OS, respectively. Furthermore, when incorporating TransRP's prediction into a clinical Cox model (m4), a higher C-index of 0.77 for OS was obtained. Compared with a clinical routine risk stratification model of OS, our model, using clinical variables, radiomics and TransRP prediction as predictors, achieved larger separations of survival curves between low, intermediate and high risk groups.

CONCLUSION: TransRP outperformed CNN models for all endpoints. Combining clinical data and TransRP prediction in a Cox model achieved better OS prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110368
Number of pages7
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Early online date2-Jun-2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2-Jun-2024


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