Serial T2-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Images Acquired on a 1.5 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Linear Accelerator Reveal Radiomic Feature Variation in Organs at Risk: An Exploratory Analysis of Novel Metrics of Tissue Response in Prostate Cancer

Joshua W Lorenz, Diane Schott, Lisa Rein, Farshad Mostafaei, George Noid, Colleen Lawton, Meena Bedi, X A Li, Christopher J Schultz, Eric Paulson, William A Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

"Delta-radiomics" investigates variations in quantitative image metrics over time and can yield important clinical information. We hypothesized that in patients undergoing active radiation therapy (RT) for prostate cancer (PCa), there would exist observable variation in the quantitative metrics that describe the T2-weighted (T2W) intensity histogram in the prostate and surrounding organs at risk (OAR) over time. We investigated the feasibility of acquisition and subsequent analysis of the delta-radiomic profiles of these regions of interest (ROI) in serial T2W magnetic resonance (MR) images obtained on a 1.5 Tesla (T) Magnetic Resonance Linear Accelerator (MRL). Principally, we sought to illustrate the significance of longitudinal radiomic data acquisition for tissue response monitoring and provide a framework for future hypothesis driven research. Patients with PCa undergoing treatment with RT were compiled from an ongoing prospective observational imaging trial using a 1.5 T MRL (NCT30500081). Contiguous axial slices of prostate parenchyma were contoured and temporally normalized to sections of Sartorius muscle which served as a control. Similarly, contiguous sections of rectal and bladder wall adjacent to the prostate were contoured and temporally normalized to regions of these organs further removed from the planning target volume (PTV). First order statistical descriptors of the T2W intensity histogram were extracted and evaluated for changes over time using linear mixed effects regression modeling and post-hoc contrasts. Benjamini-Hochberg corrections were employed to reduce the effects of multiple testing and control for the false discovery rate (FDR). Four patients with a median age of 69 comprised this exploratory cohort. One patient had low-risk disease, two had intermediate (one favorable, one unfavorable), and one had high risk disease. Three out of four patients underwent definitive radiation to 75.6 Gray (Gy) in 42 fractions and one received hypofractionated therapy to a total dose of 70 Gy over 28 fractions, and all received treatment on a conventional linear accelerator. The most significant acute toxicity event was grade 2 GU dysfunction observed in two patients. Follow up ranged from 1 month to 10 months post treatment, and no long-term complications were reported in patients who completed treatment at least one month prior. Bladder wall adjacent to the prostate demonstrated significant variation in the mean and median metric values after the first week of treatment. In addition, rectal wall adjacent to the prostate exhibited significant variation in the mean, median, and standard deviation metric values by the second week of treatment. No significant variation in any radiomic feature was observed in the Sartorius control. This exploratory study is one of the earliest examining the delta-radiomic characteristics of the T2W intensity histogram in OAR extracted from images acquired on a 1.5 T MRL in patients actively being treated with RT for PCa. We demonstrated a feasible approach to longitudinal radiomic data acquisition providing limitless opportunity for future research. Analysis of the delta-radiomic profiles in OAR revealed significant variation in metrics after only one week of RT in bladder and rectal wall adjacent to the prostate. These findings must be further investigated and validated with expanded data sets with long-term follow up and correlation to clinical outcomes including toxicity and tumor control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e4510
JournalCureus
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2019

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