A Novel Classification of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma Phenotypes Using Machine Learning Techniques: An International Multi-Institutional Analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) generally have a poor prognosis, yet there can be heterogeneity in the patterns of presentation and associated outcomes. We sought to identify clusters of ICC patients based on preoperative characteristics that may have distinct outcomes based on differing patterns of presentation.


Patients undergoing curative-intent resection of ICC between 2000 and 2017 were identified using a multi-institutional database. A cluster analysis was performed based on preoperative variables to identify distinct patterns of presentation. A classification tree was built to prospectively assign patients into cluster assignments.


Among 826 patients with ICC, three distinct presentation patterns were noted. Specifically, Cluster 1 (common ICC, 58.9%) consisted of individuals who had a small-size ICC (median 4.6 cm) and median carbohydrate antigen (CA) 19-9 and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) levels of 40.3 UI/mL and 2.6, respectively; Cluster 2 (proliferative ICC, 34.9%) consisted of patients who had larger-size tumors (median 9.0 cm), higher CA19-9 levels (median 72.0 UI/mL), and similar NLR (median 2.7); Cluster 3 (inflammatory ICC, 6.2%) comprised of patients with a medium-size ICC (median 6.2 cm), the lowest range of CA19-9 (median 26.2 UI/mL), yet the highest NLR (median 13.5) (all p < 0.05). Median OS worsened incrementally among the three different clusters {Cluster 1 vs. 2 vs. 3; 60.4 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 43.0-77.8) vs. 27.2 months (95% CI 19.9-34.4) vs. 13.3 months (95% CI 7.2-19.3); p < 0.001}. The classification tree used to assign patients into different clusters had an excellent agreement with actual cluster assignment (κ = 0.93, 95% CI 0.90-0.96).


Machine learning analysis identified three distinct prognostic clusters based solely on preoperative characteristics among patients with ICC. Characterizing preoperative patient heterogeneity with machine learning tools can help physicians with preoperative selection and risk stratification of patients with ICC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tsilimigras, DI; Hyer, JM; Paredes, AZ; Diaz, A; Moris, D; Guglielmi, A; Aldrighetti, L; Weiss, M; Bauer, TW; Alexandrescu, S; Poultsides, GA; Maithel, SK; Marques, HP; Martel, G; Pulitano, C; Shen, F; Soubrane, O; Koerkamp, BG; Endo, I; Pawlik, TM

Published Date

  • December 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 13

Start / End Page

  • 5224 - 5232

PubMed ID

  • 32495285

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1534-4681

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1068-9265

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1245/s10434-020-08696-z


  • eng