Background: Preoperative evaluation of the number of lymph node metastasis (LNM) is the basis of individual treatment of locally advanced gastric cancer (LAGC). However, the routinely used preoperative determination method is not accurate enough. Patients and methods: We enrolled 730 LAGC patients from five centers in China and one center in Italy, and divided them into one primary cohort, three external validation cohorts, and one international validation cohort. A deep learning radiomic nomogram (DLRN) was built based on the images from multiphase computed tomography (CT) for preoperatively determining the number of LNM in LAGC. We comprehensively tested the DLRN and compared it with three state-of-the-art methods. Moreover, we investigated the value of the DLRN in survival analysis. Results: The DLRN showed good discrimination of the number of LNM on all cohorts [overall C-indexes (95% confidence interval): 0.821 (0.785–0.858) in the primary cohort, 0.797 (0.771–0.823) in the external validation cohorts, and 0.822 (0.756–0.887) in the international validation cohort]. The nomogram performed significantly better than the routinely used clinical N stages, tumor size, and clinical model (P < 0.05). Besides, DLRN was significantly associated with the overall survival of LAGC patients (n = 271). Conclusion: A deep learning-based radiomic nomogram had good predictive value for LNM in LAGC. In staging-oriented treatment of gastric cancer, this preoperative nomogram could provide baseline information for individual treatment of LAGC.
- deep learning
- locally advanced gastric cancer
- lymph node metastasis
- radiomic nomogram
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