From molecular signatures to radiomics: tailoring neurooncological strategies through forecasting of glioma growth

Neurosurg Focus. 2024 Feb;56(2):E5. doi: 10.3171/2023.11.FOCUS23685.


Objective: Contemporary oncological paradigms for adjuvant treatment of low- and intermediate-grade gliomas are often guided by a limited array of parameters, overlooking the dynamic nature of the disease. The authors' aim was to develop a comprehensive multivariate glioma growth model based on multicentric data, to facilitate more individualized therapeutic strategies.

Methods: Random slope models with subject-specific random intercepts were fitted to a retrospective cohort of grade II and III gliomas from the database at Kepler University Hospital (n = 191) to predict future mean tumor diameters. Deep learning-based radiomics was used together with a comprehensive clinical dataset and evaluated on an external prospectively collected validation cohort from University Hospital Zurich (n = 9). Prediction quality was assessed via mean squared prediction error.

Results: A mean squared prediction error of 0.58 cm for the external validation cohort was achieved, indicating very good prognostic value. The mean ± SD time to adjuvant therapy was 28.7 ± 43.3 months and 16.1 ± 14.6 months for the training and validation cohort, respectively, with a mean of 6.2 ± 5 and 3.6 ± 0.7, respectively, for number of observations. The observed mean tumor diameter per year was 0.38 cm (95% CI 0.25-0.51) for the training cohort, and 1.02 cm (95% CI 0.78-2.82) for the validation cohort. Glioma of the superior frontal gyrus showed a higher rate of tumor growth than insular glioma. Oligodendroglioma showed less pronounced growth, anaplastic astrocytoma-unlike anaplastic oligodendroglioma-was associated with faster tumor growth. Unlike the impact of extent of resection, isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) had negligible influence on tumor growth. Inclusion of radiomics variables significantly enhanced the prediction performance of the random slope model used.

Conclusions: The authors developed an advanced statistical model to predict tumor volumes both pre- and postoperatively, using comprehensive data prior to the initiation of adjuvant therapy. Using radiomics enhanced the precision of the prediction models. Whereas tumor extent of resection and topology emerged as influential factors in tumor growth, the IDH status did not. This study emphasizes the imperative of advanced computational methods in refining personalized low-grade glioma treatment, advocating a move beyond traditional paradigms.

Keywords: glioma growth rate; glioma prediction model; low-grade glioma; onco-functional balance; personalized medicine; radiomics.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Glioma* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Mutation
  • Oligodendroglioma*
  • Radiomics
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase