Based on 4D-CT, we aimed to characterize the pattern of morphological changes in lung tumors during respiration, and investigated its potential in non-invasively differentiating lung adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). We applied a 3D surface analysis on 22 tumors (13 AC, 9 SCC) to investigate the tumor regional morphological fluctuations in response to respiration phases. Tumor surface vertices among ten respiratory phases were matched using surface-based registration, and the shape descriptors (ρ and detJ) were calculated and tracked across respiration stages in a regionally aligned scenario. Pair-wise group comparisons were performed between lung AC and SCC subtypes, in terms of ratios of maximal shape changes as well as correlation coefficients between tumor shape and respiratory stage indicators from the lung. AC type tumors had averaged larger surface measurements at exhale than at inhale, and these surface measurements were negatively correlated with lung volumes across respiratory stages. In contrast, SCC type tumors had averaged smaller surface measurements at exhale than at inhale, and the correlations with lung volumes were positive. The group differences in maximal shape changes as well as correlations were both statistically significant (p < 0.05). We developed a non-invasive lung tumor sub-type detection pipeline based on respiration-induced tumor surface deformation. Significant differences in deformation patterns were detected between lung AC and SCC. The derived surface measurements may potentially serve as a new non-invasive imaging biomarker of lung cancer subtypes.
- non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
- squamous cell carcinoma
- tumor deformation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging