Background: Existing predictive models for lung cancer focus on improving screening or referral for biopsy in general medical populations. A predictive model calibrated for use during preoperative evaluation of suspicious lung lesions is needed to reduce unnecessary operations for a benign disease. A clinical prediction model (Thoracic Research Evaluation And Treatment [TREAT]) is proposed for this purpose.
Methods: We developed and internally validated a clinical prediction model for lung cancer in a prospective cohort evaluated at our institution. Best statistical practices were used to construct, evaluate, and validate the logistic regression model in the presence of missing covariate data using bootstrap and optimism corrected techniques. The TREAT model was externally validated in a retrospectively collected Veteran Affairs population. The discrimination and calibration of the model was estimated and compared with the Mayo Clinic model in both the populations.
Results: The TREAT model was developed in 492 patients from Vanderbilt whose lung cancer prevalence was 72% and validated among 226 Veteran Affairs patients with a lung cancer prevalence of 93%. In the development cohort, the area under the receiver operating curve (AUC) and Brier score were 0.87 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83-0.92) and 0.12, respectively compared with the AUC 0.89 (95% CI, 0.79-0.98) and Brier score 0.13 in the validation dataset. The TREAT model had significantly higher accuracy (p < 0.001) and better calibration than the Mayo Clinic model (AUC = 0.80; 95% CI, 75-85; Brier score = 0.17).
Conclusion: The validated TREAT model had better diagnostic accuracy than the Mayo Clinic model in preoperative assessment of suspicious lung lesions in a population being evaluated for lung resection.