Survival prediction of gastric cancer patients by Artificial Neural Network model

Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench. 2018 Spring;11(2):110-117.


Aim: This study aims to predict survival rate of gastric cancer patients and identify the effective factors related to it, using artificial neural network model.

Background: Gastric cancer is the most deadly disease in north and northeast provinces of Iran. A total of 430 patients with gastric cancer who referred to Baghban clinic in Sari, from early November 2006 to late October 2013 were followed.

Methods: A historical cohort of patients who referred to Baghban Clinic, the cancer research center of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences in Sari, from early November 2006 to late October 2013 was studied. Three groups of variables (demographic, biological and socio-economic) were studied. Survival rate and effective factors on survival time were calculated using Kaplan-Meier methods and artificial neural networks and the best network structure were chosen using the mean square error and ROC curve. All analyses were performed using SPSS v.18.0 and the level of significance was selected α=0.05.

Results: In this research, the median survival time was 19±2.04 months. The 1 to 5-year survival rates for patients were 0.64, 0.44, 0.34, 0.24 and 0.19, respectively. The percentage of right predictions of the selected network and the area under the ROC curve were 92% and 94%, respectively. According to the results, the type of treatment, metastasis, stage of disease, histology grade, histology type and the age of diagnosis were effective factors on survival period.

Conclusion: the 5 years survival rate of gastric cancer patients in Mazandaran is lower than other provinces which could be due to the delay in diagnosis or patient's referral. Therefore, the use of screening methods and early diagnosis could be influential for improving survival rate of these patients.

Keywords: Artificial neural network; Gastric cancer; Survival analysis.