Radiation Therapy Outcomes Models in the Era of Radiomics and Radiogenomics: Uncertainties and Validation

Authors El Naqa I, Pandey G, Aerts H, Chien JT, Andreassen CN, Niemierko A, Ten Haken RK
Source Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Nov 15;102(4):1070-1073 Publicationdate 18 Oct 2018

Recent advances in imaging and biotechnology have tremendously improved the availability of quantitative imaging (radiomics) and molecular data (radiogenomics) for radiotherapy patients. This big data development with its comprehensive nature promises to transform outcome modeling in radiotherapy from few dose-volume metrics into utilizing more data-driven analytics. However, it also presents new profound challenges and creates new tasks for alleviating uncertainties arising from dealing with heterogeneous data and complex big data analytics. Therefore, more rigorous validation procedures need to be devised for these radiomics/radiogenomics models compared to traditional outcome modeling approaches previously utilized in radiation oncology, before they can be safely deployed for clinical trials or incorporated into daily practice. This editorial highlights current affairs, identifies some of the frequent sources of uncertainties, and presents some of the recommended practices for radiomics/radiogenomics models’ evaluation and validation.