data_sheet_2_Exploring Applications of Radiomics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Head and Neck Cancer: A Systematic Review.xlsx

Background

Radiomics has been widely investigated for non-invasive acquisition of quantitative textural information from anatomic structures. While the vast majority of radiomic analysis is performed on images obtained from computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based radiomics has generated increased attention. In head and neck cancer (HNC), however, attempts to perform consistent investigations are sparse, and it is unclear whether the resulting textural features can be reproduced. To address this unmet need, we systematically reviewed the quality of existing MRI radiomics research in HNC.

Methods

Literature search was conducted in accordance with guidelines established by Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Electronic databases were examined from January 1990 through November 2017 for common radiomic keywords. Eligible completed studies were then scored using a standardized checklist that we developed from Enhancing the Quality and Transparency of Health Research guidelines for reporting machine-learning predictive model specifications and results in biomedical research, defined by Luo et al. (1). Descriptive statistics of checklist scores were populated, and a subgroup analysis of methodology items alone was conducted in comparison to overall scores.

Results

Sixteen completed studies and four ongoing trials were selected for inclusion. Of the completed studies, the nasopharynx was the most common site of study (37.5%). MRI modalities varied with only four of the completed studies (25%) extracting radiomic features from a single sequence. Study sample sizes ranged between 13 and 118 patients (median of 40), and final radiomic signatures ranged from 2 to 279 features. Analyzed endpoints included either segmentation or histopathological classification parameters (44%) or prognostic and predictive biomarkers (56%). Liu et al. (2) addressed the highest number of our checklist items (total score: 48), and a subgroup analysis of methodology checklist items alone did not demonstrate any difference in scoring trends between studies [Spearman’s ρ = 0.94 (p < 0.0001)].

Conclusion

Although MRI radiomic applications demonstrate predictive potential in analyzing diverse HNC outcomes, methodological variances preclude accurate and collective interpretation of data.