Radiomic feature reduction approach to predict breast cancer by contrast-enhanced spectral mammography images.

Raffaella Massafra, Samantha Bove, Vito Lorusso, Albino Biafora, Maria Colomba Comes, Vittorio Didonna, Sergio Diotaiuti, Annarita Fanizzi, Annalisa Nardone, Angelo Nolasco, Cosmo Maurizio Ressa, Pasquale Tamborra, Antonella Terenzio, Daniele La Forgia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) is an advanced instrument for breast care that is still operator dependent. The aim of this paper is the proposal of an automated system able to discriminate benign and malignant breast lesions based on radiomic analysis. We selected a set of 58 regions of interest (ROIs) extracted from 53 patients referred to Istituto Tumori “Giovanni Paolo II” of Bari (Italy) for the breast cancer screening phase between March 2017 and June 2018. We extracted 464 features of different kinds, such as points and corners of interest, textural and statistical features from both the original ROIs and the ones obtained by a Haar decomposition and a gradient image implementation. The features data had a large dimension that can affect the process and accuracy of cancer classification. Therefore, a classification scheme for dimension reduction was needed. Specifically, a principal component analysis (PCA) dimension reduction technique that includes the calculation of variance proportion for eigenvector selection was used. For the classification method, we trained three different classifiers, that is a random forest, a naïve Bayes and a logistic regression, on each sub-set of principal components (PC) selected by a sequential forward algorithm. Moreover, we focused on the starting features that contributed most to the calculation of the related PCs, which returned the best classification models. The method obtained with the aid of the random forest classifier resulted in the best prediction of benign/malignant ROIs with median values for sensitivity and specificity of 88.37% and 100%, respectively, by using only three PCs. The features that had shown the greatest contribution to the definition of the same were almost all extracted from the LE images. Our system could represent a valid support tool for radiologists for interpreting CESM images.

Original languageEnglish
Article number684
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 10 2021


  • Breast cancer
  • Computer-automated diagnosis (CADx)
  • Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM)
  • Feature extraction
  • Feature reduction
  • Principal component analysis (PCA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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