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Value of pre-therapy 18F-FDG PET/CT radiomics in predicting EGFR mutation status in patients with non-small cell lung cancer



To assess the predictive power of pre-therapy 18F-FDG PET/CT-based radiomic features for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation status in non-small cell lung cancer.


Two hundred and forty-eight lung cancer patients underwent pre-therapy diagnostic 18F-FDG PET/CT scans and were tested for genetic mutations. The LIFEx package was used to extract 47 PET and 45 CT radiomic features reflecting tumor heterogeneity and phenotype. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) algorithm was used to select radiomic features and develop a radiomics signature. We compared the predictive performance of models established by radiomics signature, clinical variables, and their combinations using receiver operating curves (ROCs). In addition, a nomogram based on the radiomics signature score (rad-score) and clinical variables was developed.


The patients were divided into a training set (n = 175) and a validation set (n = 73). Ten radiomic features were selected to build the radiomics signature model. The model showed a significant ability to discriminate between EGFR mutation and EGFR wild type, with area under the ROC curve (AUC) equal to 0.79 in the training set, and 0.85 in the validation set, compared with 0.75 and 0.69 for the clinical model. When clinical variables and radiomics signature were combined, the AUC increased to 0.86 (95% CI [0.80–0.91]) in the training set and 0.87 (95% CI [0.79–0.95]) in the validation set, thus showing better performance in the prediction of EGFR mutations.


The PET/CT-based radiomic features showed good performance in predicting EGFR mutation in non-small cell lung cancer, providing a useful method for the choice of targeted therapy in a clinical setting.

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The authors thank all their coworkers involved in the study for their support and assistance.


This study was financially supported by the Foundation of Science and Technology Department of Hebei Province, China (grant No.15277776D).

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Correspondence to Xinming Zhao.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the study and involving human participants were carried out in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the principles of the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

This retrospective analysis was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University (Approval No. 2019MEC031), and the requirement of informed consent was waived.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Advanced Image Analyses (Radiomics and Artificial Intelligence)

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Zhang, J., Zhao, X., Zhao, Y. et al. Value of pre-therapy 18F-FDG PET/CT radiomics in predicting EGFR mutation status in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00259-019-04592-1

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  • Radiomics
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • 18F-FDG
  • PET/CT