Predicting peritoneal recurrence and disease-free survival from CT images in gastric cancer with multitask deep learning: a retrospective study. The Lancet. Digital health Jiang, Y., Zhang, Z., Yuan, Q., Wang, W., Wang, H., Li, T., Huang, W., Xie, J., Chen, C., Sun, Z., Yu, J., Xu, Y., Poultsides, G. A., Xing, L., Zhou, Z., Li, G., Li, R. 2022; 4 (5): e340-e350


BACKGROUND: Peritoneal recurrence is the predominant pattern of relapse after curative-intent surgery for gastric cancer and portends a dismal prognosis. Accurate individualised prediction of peritoneal recurrence is crucial to identify patients who might benefit from intensive treatment. We aimed to develop predictive models for peritoneal recurrence and prognosis in gastric cancer.METHODS: In this retrospective multi-institution study of 2320 patients, we developed a multitask deep learning model for the simultaneous prediction of peritoneal recurrence and disease-free survival using preoperative CT images. Patients in the training cohort (n=510) and the internal validation cohort (n=767) were recruited from Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China. Patients in the external validation cohort (n=1043) were recruited from Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China. We evaluated the prognostic accuracy of the model as well as its association with chemotherapy response. Furthermore, we assessed whether the model could improve the ability of clinicians to predict peritoneal recurrence.FINDINGS: The deep learning model had a consistently high accuracy in predicting peritoneal recurrence in the training cohort (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] 0·857; 95% CI 0·826-0·889), internal validation cohort (0·856; 0·829-0·882), and external validation cohort (0·843; 0·819-0·866). When informed by the artificial intelligence (AI) model, the sensitivity and inter-rater agreement of oncologists for predicting peritoneal recurrence was improved. The model was able to predict disease-free survival in the training cohort (C-index 0·654; 95% CI 0·616-0·691), internal validation cohort (0·668; 0·643-0·693), and external validation cohort (0·610; 0·583-0·636). In multivariable analysis, the model predicted peritoneal recurrence and disease-free survival independently of clinicopathological variables (p<0·0001 for all). For patients with a predicted high risk of peritoneal recurrence and low survival, adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with improved disease-free survival in both stage II disease (hazard ratio [HR] 0·543 [95% CI 0·362-0·815]; p=0·003) and stage III disease (0·531 [0·432-0·652]; p<0·0001). By contrast, chemotherapy had no impact on disease-free survival for patients with a predicted low risk of peritoneal recurrence and high survival. For the remaining patients, the benefit of chemotherapy depended on stage: only those with stage III disease derived benefit from chemotherapy (HR 0·637 [95% CI 0·484-0·838]; p=0·001).INTERPRETATION: The deep learning model could allow accurate prediction of peritoneal recurrence and survival in patients with gastric cancer. Prospective studies are required to test the clinical utility of this model in guiding personalised treatment in combination with clinicopathological criteria.FUNDING: None.

View details for DOI 10.1016/S2589-7500(22)00040-1

View details for PubMedID 35461691