Prediction of chemotherapeutic response in bladder cancer using K-means clustering of dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI pharmacokinetic parameters.

Nguyen HT, Jia G, Shah ZK, Pohar K, Mortazavi A, Zynger DL, Wei L, Yang X, Clark D, Knopp MV
J Magn Reson Imaging 41 1374-82 05/01/2015


PURPOSE: To apply k-means clustering of two pharmacokinetic parameters derived from 3T dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) to predict the chemotherapeutic response in bladder cancer at the mid-cycle timepoint.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: With the predetermined number of three clusters, k-means clustering was performed on nondimensionalized Amp and kep estimates of each bladder tumor. Three cluster volume fractions (VFs) were calculated for each tumor at baseline and mid-cycle. The changes of three cluster VFs from baseline to mid-cycle were correlated with the tumor's chemotherapeutic response. Receiver-operating-characteristics curve analysis was used to evaluate the performance of each cluster VF change as a biomarker of chemotherapeutic response in bladder cancer.

RESULTS: The k-means clustering partitioned each bladder tumor into cluster 1 (low kep and low Amp), cluster 2 (low kep and high Amp), cluster 3 (high kep and low Amp). The changes of all three cluster VFs were found to be associated with bladder tumor response to chemotherapy. The VF change of cluster 2 presented with the highest area-under-the-curve value (0.96) and the highest sensitivity/specificity/accuracy (96%/100%/97%) with a selected cutoff value.

CONCLUSION: The k-means clustering of the two DCE-MRI pharmacokinetic parameters can characterize the complex microcirculatory changes within a bladder tumor to enable early prediction of the tumor's chemotherapeutic response.

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