Systematic review of sarcomas radiomics studies: Bridging the gap between concepts and clinical applications ?

European journal of radiology, Sept 20

Amandine Crombé, David Fadli, Antoine Italiano, Olivier Saut, Xavier Buy, Michèle Kind

doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2020.109283


Objectives: Sarcomas are a model for intra- and inter-tumoral heterogeneities making them particularly suitable for radiomics analyses. Our purposes were to review the aims, methods and results of radiomics studies involving sarcomas METHODS: Pubmed and Web of Sciences databases were searched for radiomics or textural studies involving bone, soft-tissues and visceral sarcomas until June 2020. Two radiologists evaluated their objectives, results and quality of their methods, imaging pre-processing and machine-learning workflow helped by the items of the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2), Image Biomarker Standardization Initiative (IBSI) and ‘Radiomics Quality Score’ (RQS). Statistical analyses included inter-reader agreements, correlations between methodological assessments, scientometrics indices, and their changes over years, and between RQS, number of patients and models performance.

Results: Fifty-two studies were included involving: soft-tissue sarcomas (29/52, 55.8 %), bone sarcomas (15/52, 28.8 %), gynecological sarcomas (6/52, 11.5 %) and mixed sarcomas (2/52, 3.8 %), mostly imaged with MRI (36/52, 69.2 %), for a total of distinct patients. Median RQS was 4.5 (28.4 % of the maximum, range: -7 – 17). Performances of predictive models and number of patients negatively correlated (p = 0.027). None of the studies detailed all the items from the IBSI guidelines. There was a significant increase in studies’ impact factors since the establishing of the RQS in 2017 (p = 0.038).

Conclusion: Although showing promising results, further efforts are needed to make sarcoma radiomics studies reproducible with an acceptable level of evidence. A better knowledge of the RQS and IBSI reporting guidelines could improve the quality of sarcoma radiomics studies and accelerate clinical applications.

Keywords: Machine learning; Magnetic resonance imaging; Quality improvement; Radiomics; Sarcoma.