Cancer. 2022 Nov 22. doi: 10.1002/cncr.34545. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Sarcopenia increases with age and is associated with poor survival outcomes in patients with cancer. By using a deep learning-based segmentation approach, clinical computed tomography (CT) images of the abdomen of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) were reviewed to determine whether the presence of sarcopenia had any prognostic value.
METHODS: Sarcopenia was detected by accurate segmentation and measurement of the skeletal muscle components present at the level of the L3 vertebrae. These skeletal muscle measurements were further normalized by the height of the patient to obtain the skeletal muscle index for each patient to classify them as sarcopenic or not.
RESULTS: The study cohort consisted of 322 patients of which 67 (28%) were categorized as having high risk (HR) fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) cytogenetics. A total of 171 (53%) patients were sarcopenic based on their peri-diagnosis standard-dose CT scan. The median overall survival (OS) and 2-year mortality rate for sarcopenic patients was 44 months and 40% compared to 90 months and 18% for those not sarcopenic, respectively (p < .0001 for both comparisons). In a multivariable model, the adverse prognostic impact of sarcopenia was independent of International Staging System stage, age, and HR FISH cytogenetics.
CONCLUSIONS: Sarcopenia identified by a machine learning-based convolutional neural network algorithm significantly affects OS in patients with NDMM. Future studies using this machine learning-based methodology of assessing sarcopenia in larger prospective clinical trials are required to validate these findings.