A machine learning tool to predict the response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced cervical cancer.

Francesca Arezzo, Daniele La Forgia, Vincenzo Venerito, Marco Moschetta, Alberto Stefano Tagliafico, Claudio Lombardi, Vera Loizzi, Ettore Cicinelli, Gennaro Cormio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite several studies having identified factors associated with successful treatment outcomes in locally advanced cervical cancer, there is the lack of accurate predictive modeling for progression-free survival (PFS) in patients who undergo radical hysterectomy after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). Here we investigated whether machine learning (ML) may have the potential to provide a tool to predict neoadjuvant treatment response as PFS. In this retrospective observational study, we analyzed patients with locally advanced cervical cancer (FIGO stages IB2, IB3, IIA1, IIA2, IIB, and IIIC1) who were followed in a tertiary center from 2010 to 2018. Demographic and clinical characteristics were collected at either treatment baseline or at 24-month follow-up. Furthermore, we recorded data about magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations and postsurgery histopathology. Proper feature selection was used to determine an attribute core set. Three different machine learning algorithms, namely Logistic Regression (LR), Random Forest (RFF), and K-nearest neighbors (KNN), were then trained and validated with 10-fold cross-validation to predict 24-month PFS. Our analysis included n. 92 patients. The attribute core set used to train machine learning algorithms included the presence/absence of fornix infiltration at pre-treatment MRI as well as of either parametrium invasion and lymph nodes involvement at post-surgery histopathology. RFF showed the best performance (accuracy 82.4%, precision 83.4%, recall 96.2%, area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) 0.82). We developed an accurate ML model to predict 24-month PFS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number823
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2021


  • Cervical cancer
  • Machine leaning
  • Neoadjuvant therapy
  • Progression-free survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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