Radiomics as a non-invasive adjunct to Chest CT in distinguishing benign and malignant lung nodules

Published in "Scientific Reports"
Minmini Selvam , Anupama Chandrasekharan , Abjasree Sadanandan , Vikas Kumar Anand , Arunan Murali , Ganapathy Krishnamurthi

In an observational study conducted from 2016 to 2021, we assessed the utility of radiomics in differentiating between benign and malignant lung nodules detected on computed tomography (CT) scans. Patients in whom a final diagnosis regarding the lung nodules was available according to histopathology and/or 2017 Fleischner Society guidelines were included. The radiomics workflow included lesion segmentation, region of interest (ROI) definition, pre-processing, and feature extraction. Employing random forest feature selection, we identified ten important radiomic features for distinguishing between benign and malignant nodules. Among the classifiers tested, the Decision Tree model demonstrated superior performance, achieving 79% accuracy, 75% sensitivity, 85% specificity, 82% precision, and 90% F1 score. The implementation of the XGBoost algorithm further enhanced these results, yielding 89% accuracy, 89% sensitivity, 89% precision, and an F1 score of 89%, alongside a specificity of 85%. Our findings highlight tumor texture as the primary predictor of malignancy, emphasizing the importance of texture-based features in computational oncology. Thus, our study establishes radiomics as a powerful, non-invasive adjunct to CT scans in the differentiation of lung nodules, with significant implications for clinical decision-making, especially for indeterminate nodules, and the enhancement of diagnostic and predictive accuracy in this clinical context.