Reproducible radiomics through automated machine learning validated on twelve clinical applications

by   Martijn P. A. Starmans, et al.

Radiomics uses quantitative medical imaging features to predict clinical outcomes. While many radiomics methods have been described in the literature, these are generally designed for a single application. The aim of this study is to generalize radiomics across applications by proposing a framework to automatically construct and optimize the radiomics workflow per application. To this end, we formulate radiomics as a modular workflow, consisting of several components: image and segmentation preprocessing, feature extraction, feature and sample preprocessing, and machine learning. For each component, a collection of common algorithms is included. To optimize the workflow per application, we employ automated machine learning using a random search and ensembling. We evaluate our method in twelve different clinical applications, resulting in the following area under the curves: 1) liposarcoma (0.83); 2) desmoid-type fibromatosis (0.82); 3) primary liver tumors (0.81); 4) gastrointestinal stromal tumors (0.77); 5) colorectal liver metastases (0.68); 6) melanoma metastases (0.51); 7) hepatocellular carcinoma (0.75); 8) mesenteric fibrosis (0.81); 9) prostate cancer (0.72); 10) glioma (0.70); 11) Alzheimer's disease (0.87); and 12) head and neck cancer (0.84). Concluding, our method fully automatically constructs and optimizes the radiomics workflow, thereby streamlining the search for radiomics biomarkers in new applications. To facilitate reproducibility and future research, we publicly release six datasets, the software implementation of our framework (open-source), and the code to reproduce this study.


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