DOI: 10.1002/cam4.6428 ISSN:

A deep learning‐based interpretable decision tool for predicting high risk of chemotherapy‐induced nausea and vomiting in cancer patients prescribed highly emetogenic chemotherapy

Jingyue Zhang, Xudong Cui, Chong Yang, Diansheng Zhong, Yinjuan Sun, Xiaoxiong Yue, Gaoshuang Lan, Linlin Zhang, Liangfu Lu, Hengjie Yuan
  • Cancer Research
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology



This study aims to develop a risk prediction model for chemotherapy‐induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in cancer patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC) and identify the variables that have the most significant impact on prediction.


Data from Tianjin Medical University General Hospital were collected and subjected to stepwise data preprocessing. Deep learning algorithms, including deep forest, and typical machine learning algorithms such as support vector machine (SVM), categorical boosting (CatBoost), random forest, decision tree, and neural network were used to develop the prediction model. After training the model and conducting hyperparameter optimization (HPO) through cross‐validation in the training set, the performance was evaluated using the test set. Shapley additive explanations (SHAP), partial dependence plot (PDP), and Local Interpretable Model‐Agnostic Explanations (LIME) techniques were employed to explain the optimal model. Model performance was assessed using AUC, F1 score, accuracy, specificity, sensitivity, and Brier score.


The deep forest model exhibited good discrimination, outperforming typical machine learning models, with an AUC of 0.850 (95%CI, 0.780–0.919), an F1 score of 0.757, an accuracy of 0.852, a specificity of 0.863, a sensitivity of 0.784, and a Brier score of 0.082. The top five important features in the model were creatinine clearance (Ccr), age, gender, anticipatory nausea and vomiting, and antiemetic regimen. Among these, Ccr had the most significant predictive value. The risk of CINV decreased with increased Ccr and age, while it was higher in the presence of anticipatory nausea and vomiting, female gender, and non‐standard antiemetic regimen.


The deep forest model demonstrated good discrimination in predicting the risk of CINV in cancer patients prescribed HEC. Kidney function, as represented by Ccr, played a crucial role in the model's prediction. The clinical application of this predictive tool can help assess individual risks and improve patient care by proactively optimizing the use of antiemetics in cancer patients receiving HEC.

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