Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Imaging patterns predict patient survival and molecular subtype in glioblastoma via machine learning techniques



MRI characteristics of brain gliomas have been used to predict clinical outcome and molecular tumor characteristics. However, previously reported imaging biomarkers have not been sufficiently accurate or reproducible to enter routine clinical practice and often rely on relatively simple MRI measures. The current study leverages advanced image analysis and machine learning algorithms to identify complex and reproducible imaging patterns predictive of overall survival and molecular subtype in glioblastoma (GB).


One hundred five patients with GB were first used to extract approximately 60 diverse features from preoperative multiparametric MRIs. These imaging features were used by a machine learning algorithm to derive imaging predictors of patient survival and molecular subtype. Cross-validation ensured generalizability of these predictors to new patients. Subsequently, the predictors were evaluated in a prospective cohort of 29 new patients.


Survival curves yielded a hazard ratio of 10.64 for predicted long versus short survivors. The overall, 3-way (long/medium/short survival) accuracy in the prospective cohort approached 80%. Classification of patients into the 4 molecular subtypes of GB achieved 76% accuracy.


By employing machine learning techniques, we were able to demonstrate that imaging patterns are highly predictive of patient survival. Additionally, we found that GB subtypes have distinctive imaging phenotypes. These results reveal that when imaging markers related to infiltration, cell density, microvascularity, and blood-brain barrier compromise are integrated via advanced pattern analysis methods, they form very accurate predictive biomarkers. These predictive markers used solely preoperative images, hence they can significantly augment diagnosis and treatment of GB patients.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View