Factors affecting the survival of patients with colorectal cancer using random survival forest

Colorectal Cancer

J Gastrointest Cancer. 2020 Nov 10. doi: 10.1007/s12029-020-00544-3. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers and the leading cause of cancer death in Iran. This study aimed to develop and validate a random survival forest (RSF) to identify important risk factors on mortality in colorectal patients based on their demographic and clinical-related variables.

METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, the information of 317 patients with colorectal cancer who were referred to Imam Khomeini Clinic of Hamadan during the years of 2002 to 2017 were examined. Patient survival was calculated from the time of diagnosis to death. In the present study, the RSF model was used to identify factors affecting patient survival. Also, the results of the RSF model were compared with the Cox model. The data were analyzed using R software (version 3.6.1) and survival packages.

RESULTS: One-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, and 10-year survival rates of included patients were 81.4%, 63%, 57%, 52%, 45%, and 34%, respectively, and the median survival was obtained to be 53 months. The number of 150 patients was died at this time period. The four most important predictors of survival included metastasis to other organs, WBC count, disease stage, and number of lymphomas involved. RSF method predicted survival better than the conventional Cox proportional hazard model.

CONCLUSION: We found that metastasis to other organs, WBC count, disease stage, and number of lymphomas involved were the most four most important predictors of low survival for colorectal cancer patients.