Multi-marker quantitative radiomics for mass characterization in dedicated breast CT imaging

Marco Caballo, Domenico R. Pangallo, Wendelien Sanderink, Andrew M. Hernandez, Su Hyun Lyu, Filippo Molinari, John M. Boone, Ritse M. Mann, Ioannis Sechopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To develop and evaluate the diagnostic performance of an algorithm for multi-marker radiomic-based classification of breast masses in dedicated breast computed tomography (bCT) images. Methods: Over 1000 radiomic descriptors aimed at quantifying mass and border heterogeneity, morphology, and margin sharpness were developed and implemented. These included well-established texture and shape feature descriptors, which were supplemented with additional approaches for contour irregularity quantification, spicule and lobe detection, characterization of degree of infiltration, and differences in peritumoral compartments. All descriptors were extracted from a training set of 202 bCT masses (133 benign and 69 malignant), and their individual diagnostic performance was investigated in terms of area under the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve (AUC) of single-feature-based linear discriminant analysis (LDA) classifiers. Subsequently, the most relevant descriptors were selected through a multiple-step feature selection process (including stability analysis, statistical significance, evaluation of feature interaction, and dimensionality reduction), and used to develop a final LDA radiomic model for classification of benign and malignant masses, which was then tested on an independent test set of 82 cases (45 benign and 37 malignant). Results: The majority of the individual radiomic descriptors showed, on the training set, an AUC value deriving from a linear decision boundary higher than 0.65, with the lower limit of the associated 95% confidence interval (C.I.) not overlapping with random chance (AUC = 0.5). The final LDA radiomic model resulted in a test set AUC of 0.90 (95% C.I. 0.80–0.96). Conclusions: The proposed multi-marker radiomic approach achieved high diagnostic accuracy in bCT mass classification, using a radiomic signature based on different feature types. While future studies with larger datasets are needed to further validate these results, quantitative radiomics applied to bCT shows potential to improve the breast cancer diagnosis pipeline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-328
Number of pages16
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • breast cancer
  • breast CT
  • computer-aided diagnosis
  • precision medicine
  • radiomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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