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J Xray Sci Technol. 2019 May 7. doi: 10.3233/XST-180488. [Epub ahead of print]

A pilot study of radiomics technology based on X-ray mammography in patients with triple-negative breast cancer.

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Department of Radiology, Tongde Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.
Department of Radiology, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University, The Forth People's Hospital of Wuxi City, Wuxi, Jiangsu, China.



To explore the radiomics features of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and non-triple negative breast cancer (non-TNBC) based on X-ray mammography, and to differentiate the two groups of cases.


Preoperative mammograms of 120 patients with breast ductal carcinoma confirmed by surgical pathology were retrospectively analyzed, which include 30 TNBC and 90 non-TNBC patients. The manual segmentation of breast lesions was performed by ITK-SNAP software and 12 radiomics features were extracted by Omni-Kinetics software. The differences of these radiomics features between TNBC and non-TNBC groups were compared, and the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to determine the optimal cutoff value of each radiomics parameter for differentiating TNBC from non-TNBC, and the corresponding area under the curve (AUC), sensitivity and specificity were obtained.


There were statistically significant differences for 4 radiomics features between TNBC and non-TNBC datasets (P <  0.05). They were the roundness, concavity, gray average and skewness of breast lesions. Compared with non-TNBC, TNBC cases have following characteristics of (1) more round with the roundness of 0.621 vs. 0.413 (P <  0.001), (2) more regular with the concavity of 0.087 vs. 0.141 (P <  0.01), (3) higher density or gray average (67.261 vs. 56.842, P <  0.05), and (4) lower skewness (- 0.837 vs.- 0.671, P = 0.034). AUCs of ROC curves computed using features of the roundness and concavity were both larger than 0.70.


Radiomics features based on X-ray mammography may be helpful to distinguish between TNBC and non-TNBC, which were associated with breast tumor histology.


Triple negative breast cancer; X-ray mammography; evaluation of tumor characteristics; quantitative imaging markers


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