Deciphering the tumor microenvironment through radiomics in non-small cell lung cancer: Correlation with immune profiles


Growing evidence suggests that the efficacy of immunotherapy in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) is associated with the immune microenvironment within the tumor. We aimed to explore radiologic phenotyping using a radiomics approach to assess the immune microenvironment in NSCLC. Two independent NSCLC cohorts (training and test sets) were included. Single-sample gene set enrichment analysis was used to determine the tumor microenvironment, where type 1 helper T (Th1) cells, type 2 helper T (Th2) cells, and cytotoxic T cells were the targets for prediction with computed tomographic (CT) radiomic features. Multiple algorithms were in the modeling followed by final model selection. The training dataset comprised 89 NSCLCs and the test set included 60 cases of lung squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. A total of 239 CT radiomic features were used. A linear discriminant analysis model was selected for the final model of Th2 cell group prediction. The area under the curve value of the final model on the test set was 0.684. Predictors of the linear discriminant analysis model were skewness (total and outer pixels), kurtosis, variance (subsampled from delta [subtraction inner pixels from outer pixels]), and informational measure of correlation. The performances of radiomics on test set of Th1 and cytotoxic T cell were not accurate enough to be predictable. A radiomics approach can be used to interrogate an entire tumor in a noninvasive manner and provide added diagnostic value to identify the immune microenvironment of NSCLC, in particular, Th2 cell signatures.

PLOS ONE, (15), 4, pp. e0231227,