In this work, by using descriptive techniques, the characteristics of the texture of the CT (computed tomography) image of patients with colorectal cancer were extracted and, subsequently, classified in KRAS+ or KRAS-. This was accomplished by using different classifiers, such as Support Vector Machine (SVM), Grading Boosting Machine (GBM), Neural Networks (NNET), and Random Forest (RF). Texture analysis can provide a quantitative assessment of tumour heterogeneity by analysing both the distribution and relationship between the pixels in the image. The objective of this research is to demonstrate that CT-based Radiomics can predict the presence of mutation in the KRAS gene in colorectal cancer. This is a retrospective study, with 47 patients from the University Hospital, with a confirmatory pathological analysis of KRAS mutation. The highest accuracy and kappa achieved were 83% and 64.7%, respectively, with a sensitivity of 88.9% and a specificity of 75.0%, achieved by the NNET classifier using the texture feature vectors combining wavelet transform and Haralick coefficients. The fact of being able to identify the genetic expression of a tumour without having to perform either a biopsy or a genetic test is a great advantage, because it prevents invasive procedures that involve complications and may present biases in the sample. As well, it leads towards a more personalized and effective treatment.
Keywords: KRAS mutation, colorectal cancer, texture analysis, wavelets, haralick texture descriptors, Support Vector Machine, Grading Boosting Machine, Neural Network, Random Forest