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      Cancer biomarker discovery is improved by accounting for variability in general levels of drug sensitivity in pre-clinical models

      1 , 2 , 3 , , 1

      Genome Biology

      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          We show that variability in general levels of drug sensitivity in pre-clinical cancer models confounds biomarker discovery. However, using a very large panel of cell lines, each treated with many drugs, we could estimate a general level of sensitivity to all drugs in each cell line. By conditioning on this variable, biomarkers were identified that were more likely to be effective in clinical trials than those identified using a conventional uncorrected approach. We find that differences in general levels of drug sensitivity are driven by biologically relevant processes. We developed a gene expression based method that can be used to correct for this confounder in future studies.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-016-1050-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Gene set enrichment analysis: A knowledge-based approach for interpreting genome-wide expression profiles

          Although genomewide RNA expression analysis has become a routine tool in biomedical research, extracting biological insight from such information remains a major challenge. Here, we describe a powerful analytical method called Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) for interpreting gene expression data. The method derives its power by focusing on gene sets, that is, groups of genes that share common biological function, chromosomal location, or regulation. We demonstrate how GSEA yields insights into several cancer-related data sets, including leukemia and lung cancer. Notably, where single-gene analysis finds little similarity between two independent studies of patient survival in lung cancer, GSEA reveals many biological pathways in common. The GSEA method is embodied in a freely available software package, together with an initial database of 1,325 biologically defined gene sets.
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            Exploration, normalization, and summaries of high density oligonucleotide array probe level data.

            In this paper we report exploratory analyses of high-density oligonucleotide array data from the Affymetrix GeneChip system with the objective of improving upon currently used measures of gene expression. Our analyses make use of three data sets: a small experimental study consisting of five MGU74A mouse GeneChip arrays, part of the data from an extensive spike-in study conducted by Gene Logic and Wyeth's Genetics Institute involving 95 HG-U95A human GeneChip arrays; and part of a dilution study conducted by Gene Logic involving 75 HG-U95A GeneChip arrays. We display some familiar features of the perfect match and mismatch probe (PM and MM) values of these data, and examine the variance-mean relationship with probe-level data from probes believed to be defective, and so delivering noise only. We explain why we need to normalize the arrays to one another using probe level intensities. We then examine the behavior of the PM and MM using spike-in data and assess three commonly used summary measures: Affymetrix's (i) average difference (AvDiff) and (ii) MAS 5.0 signal, and (iii) the Li and Wong multiplicative model-based expression index (MBEI). The exploratory data analyses of the probe level data motivate a new summary measure that is a robust multi-array average (RMA) of background-adjusted, normalized, and log-transformed PM values. We evaluate the four expression summary measures using the dilution study data, assessing their behavior in terms of bias, variance and (for MBEI and RMA) model fit. Finally, we evaluate the algorithms in terms of their ability to detect known levels of differential expression using the spike-in data. We conclude that there is no obvious downside to using RMA and attaching a standard error (SE) to this quantity using a linear model which removes probe-specific affinities.
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              The Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia enables predictive modeling of anticancer drug sensitivity

              The systematic translation of cancer genomic data into knowledge of tumor biology and therapeutic avenues remains challenging. Such efforts should be greatly aided by robust preclinical model systems that reflect the genomic diversity of human cancers and for which detailed genetic and pharmacologic annotation is available 1 . Here we describe the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE): a compilation of gene expression, chromosomal copy number, and massively parallel sequencing data from 947 human cancer cell lines. When coupled with pharmacologic profiles for 24 anticancer drugs across 479 of the lines, this collection allowed identification of genetic, lineage, and gene expression-based predictors of drug sensitivity. In addition to known predictors, we found that plasma cell lineage correlated with sensitivity to IGF1 receptor inhibitors; AHR expression was associated with MEK inhibitor efficacy in NRAS-mutant lines; and SLFN11 expression predicted sensitivity to topoisomerase inhibitors. Altogether, our results suggest that large, annotated cell line collections may help to enable preclinical stratification schemata for anticancer agents. The generation of genetic predictions of drug response in the preclinical setting and their incorporation into cancer clinical trial design could speed the emergence of “personalized” therapeutic regimens 2 .
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (773) 702-9363 , rhuang@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu
                Journal
                Genome Biol
                Genome Biol
                Genome Biology
                BioMed Central (London )
                1474-7596
                1474-760X
                21 September 2016
                21 September 2016
                2016
                : 17
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Section of Hematology/Oncology, The University of Chicago, 900 E 57th Street, KCBD room 7148, Chicago, IL 60637 USA
                [2 ]Section of Genetic Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 USA
                [3 ]Division of Genetic Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN USA
                Article
                1050
                10.1186/s13059-016-1050-9
                5031330
                27654937
                © The Author(s). 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000002, National Institutes of Health;
                Award ID: UO1GM61393
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Method
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2016

                Genetics

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