Survival prediction models can potentially be used to guide treatment of glioblastoma patients. However, currently available MR imaging biomarkers holding prognostic information are often challenging to interpret, have difficulties generalizing across data acquisitions, or are only applicable to pre-operative MR data. In this paper we aim to address these issues by introducing novel imaging features that can be automatically computed from MR images and fed into machine learning models to predict patient survival. The features we propose have a direct anatomical-functional interpretation: They measure the deformation caused by the tumor on the surrounding brain structures, comparing the shape of various structures in the patient's brain to their expected shape in healthy individuals. To obtain the required segmentations, we use an automatic method that is contrast-adaptive and robust to missing modalities, making the features generalizable across scanners and imaging protocols. Since the features we propose do not depend on characteristics of the tumor region itself, they are also applicable to post-operative images, which have been much less studied in the context of survival prediction. Using experiments involving both pre- and post-operative data, we show that the proposed features carry prognostic value in terms of overall- and progression-free survival, over and above that of conventional non-imaging features.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
- Brain Neoplasms/pathology