Cluster model incorporating heterogeneous dose distribution of partial parotid irradiation for radiotherapy induced xerostomia prediction with machine learning methods

Ming Chao, Issam El Naqa, Richard L. Bakst, Yeh Chi Lo, José A. Peñagarícano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: A cluster model incorporating heterogeneous dose distribution within the parotid gland was developed and validated retrospectively for radiotherapy (RT) induced xerostomia prediction with machine learning (ML) techniques. Methods: Sixty clusters were obtained at 1 Gy step size with threshold doses ranging from 1 to 60 Gy, for each of the enrolled 155 patients with HNC from three institutions. Feature clusters were selected with the neighborhood component analysis (NCA) and subsequently fed into four supervised ML models for xerostomia prediction comparison: support vector machines (SVM), k-nearest neighbor (kNN), naïve Bayes (NB), and random forest (RF). The predictive performance of each model was evaluated using cross validation resampling with the area-under-the-curves (AUC) of the receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC). The xerostomia predicting capacity using testing data was assessed with accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity for these models and three cluster connectivity choices. Mean dose based logistic regression served as the benchmark for evaluation. Results: Feature clusters identified by NCA fell in three threshold dose ranges: 5–15Gy, 25–35Gy, and 45–50Gy. Mean dose predictive power was 15% lower than that of the cluster model using the logistic regression classifier. Model validation demonstrated that kNN model outperformed slightly other three models but no substantial difference was observed. Applying the fine-tuned models to testing data yielded that the mean accuracy from SVM, kNN and NB models were between 0.68 and 0.7 while that of RF was ∼0.6. SVM model yielded the best sensitivity (0.76) and kNN model delivered consistent sensitivity and specificity. This is consistent with cross validation. Clusters calculated with three connectivity choices exhibited minimally different predictions. Conclusion: Compared to mean dose, the proposed cluster model has shown its improvement as the xerostomia predictor. When combining with ML techniques, it could provide a clinically useful tool for xerostomia prediction and facilitate decision making during radiotherapy planning for patients with HNC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)842-848
Number of pages7
JournalActa Oncologica
Volume61
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Xerostomia; cluster model; machine learning; radiation therapy; head and neck cancer

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