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Radiother Oncol. 2016 Jun;119(3):501-4. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2016.04.029. Epub 2016 May 5.

Predicting distant failure in early stage NSCLC treated with SBRT using clinical parameters.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, United States.
Department of Clinical Science, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, United States.
Department of Radiation Oncology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, United States. Electronic address:



The aim of this study is to predict early distant failure in early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) using clinical parameters by machine learning algorithms.


The dataset used in this work includes 81 early stage NSCLC patients with at least 6months of follow-up who underwent SBRT between 2006 and 2012 at a single institution. The clinical parameters (n=18) for each patient include demographic parameters, tumor characteristics, treatment fraction schemes, and pretreatment medications. Three predictive models were constructed based on different machine learning algorithms: (1) artificial neural network (ANN), (2) logistic regression (LR) and (3) support vector machine (SVM). Furthermore, to select an optimal clinical parameter set for the model construction, three strategies were adopted: (1) clonal selection algorithm (CSA) based selection strategy; (2) sequential forward selection (SFS) method; and (3) statistical analysis (SA) based strategy. 5-cross-validation is used to validate the performance of each predictive model. The accuracy was assessed by area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC), sensitivity and specificity of the system was also evaluated.


The AUCs for ANN, LR and SVM were 0.75, 0.73, and 0.80, respectively. The sensitivity values for ANN, LR and SVM were 71.2%, 72.9% and 83.1%, while the specificity values for ANN, LR and SVM were 59.1%, 63.6% and 63.6%, respectively. Meanwhile, the CSA based strategy outperformed SFS and SA in terms of AUC, sensitivity and specificity.


Based on clinical parameters, the SVM with the CSA optimal parameter set selection strategy achieves better performance than other strategies for predicting distant failure in lung SBRT patients.


Clinical parameter; Distant failure; Feature selection; Machine learning; SBRT

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