4 years ago

Vasculature surrounding a nodule: A novel lung cancer biomarker

To investigate whether the vessels surrounding a nodule depicted on non-contrast, low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) can discriminate benign and malignant screen detected nodules. Materials and Methods We collected a dataset consisting of LDCT scans acquired on 100 subjects from the Pittsburgh Lung Screening study (PLuSS). Fifty subjects were diagnosed with lung cancer and 50 subjects had suspicious nodules later proven benign. For the lung cancer cases, the location of the malignant nodule in the LDCT scans was known; while for the benign cases, the largest nodule in the LDCT scan was used in the analysis. A computer algorithm was developed to identify surrounding vessels and quantify the number and volume of vessels that were connected or near the nodule. A nonparametric receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed based on a single nodule per subject to assess the discriminability of the surrounding vessels to provide a lung cancer diagnosis. Odds ratio (OR) were computed to determine the probability of a nodule being lung cancer based on the vessel features. Results The areas under the ROC curves (AUCs) for vessel count and vessel volume were 0.722 (95% CI=0.616-0.811, p<0.01) and 0.676 (95% CI=0.565-0.772), respectively. The number of vessels attached to a nodule was significantly higher in the lung cancer group 9.7 (±9.6) compared to the non-lung cancer group 4.0 (±4.3) Conclusion Our preliminary results showed that malignant nodules are often surrounded by more vessels compared to benign nodules, suggesting that the surrounding vessel characteristics could serve as lung cancer biomarker for indeterminate nodules detected during LDCT lung cancer screening using only the information collected during the initial visit.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0169500217305470

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