Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the authors’ final published version in Scientific Reports, Volume 11, Issue 1, May 2021, Article number 9758.

The published version is available at Copyright © Chang et al.


Radiomic feature analysis has been shown to be effective at analyzing diagnostic images to model cancer outcomes. It has not yet been established how to best combine radiomic features in cancer patients with multifocal tumors. As the number of patients with multifocal metastatic cancer continues to rise, there is a need for improving personalized patient-level prognosis to better inform treatment. We compared six mathematical methods of combining radiomic features of 3,596 tumors in 831 patients with multiple brain metastases and evaluated the performance of these aggregation methods using three survival models: a standard Cox proportional hazards model, a Cox proportional hazards model with LASSO regression, and a random survival forest. Across all three survival models, the weighted average of the largest three metastases had the highest concordance index (95% confidence interval) of 0.627 (0.595-0.661) for the Cox proportional hazards model, 0.628 (0.591-0.666) for the Cox proportional hazards model with LASSO regression, and 0.652 (0.565-0.727) for the random survival forest model. This finding was consistent when evaluating patients with different numbers of brain metastases and different tumor volumes. Radiomic features can be effectively combined to estimate patient-level outcomes in patients with multifocal brain metastases. Future studies are needed to confirm that the volume-weighted average of the largest three tumors is an effective method for combining radiomic features across other imaging modalities and tumor types.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

PubMed ID