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Radiology

ALK molecular phenotype in non-small cell lung cancer: CT radiogenomic characterization.


PMID 24885982

Abstract

To present a radiogenomic computed tomographic (CT) characterization of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-rearranged non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (ALK+). In this HIPAA-compliant institutional review board-approved retrospective study, CT studies, ALK status, and clinical-pathologic data in 172 patients with NSCLC from three institutions were analyzed. A screen of 24 CT image traits was performed in a training set of 59 patients, followed by random forest variable selection incorporating 24 CT traits plus six clinical-pathologic covariates to identify a radiogenomic predictor of ALK+ status. This predictor was then validated in an independent cohort (n = 113). Test-for-accuracy and subset analyses were performed. A similar analysis was performed to identify a biomarker associated with shorter progression-free survival (PFS) after therapy with the ALK inhibitor crizotinib. ALK+ status was associated with central tumor location, absence of pleural tail, and large pleural effusion. An ALK+ radiogenomic CT status biomarker consisting of these three imaging traits with patient age of younger than 60 years showed strong discriminatory power for ALK+ status, with a sensitivity of 83.3% (15 of 18), a specificity of 77.9% (74 of 95), and an accuracy of 78.8% (89 of 113) in independent testing. The discriminatory power was particularly strong in patients with operable disease (stage IIIA or lower), with a sensitivity of 100.0% (five of five), a specificity of 88.1% (37 of 42), and an accuracy of 89.4% (42 of 47). Tumors with a disorganized vessel pattern had a shorter PFS with crizotinib therapy than tumors without this trait (11.4 vs 20.2 months, P = .041). ALK+ NSCLC has distinct characteristics at CT imaging that, when combined with clinical covariates, discriminate ALK+ from non-ALK tumors and can potentially identify patients with a shorter durable response to crizotinib.

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