A systematic analysis of genomics-based modeling approaches for prediction of drug response to cytotoxic chemotherapies

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Background: The availability and generation of large amounts of genomic data has led to the development of a new paradigm in cancer treatment emphasizing a precision approach at the molecular and genomic level. Statistical modeling techniques aimed at leveraging broad scale in vitro, in vivo, and clinical data for precision drug treatment has become an active area of research. As a rapidly developing discipline at the crossroads of medicine, computer science, and mathematics, techniques ranging from accepted to those on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence have been utilized. Given the diversity and complexity of these techniques a systematic understanding of fundamental modeling principles is essential to contextualize influential factors to better understand results and develop new approaches. Methods: Using data available from the Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer (GDSC) and the NCI60 we explore principle components regression, linear and non-linear support vector regression, and artificial neural networks in combination with different implementations of correlation based feature selection (CBF) on the prediction of drug response for several cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents. Results: Our results indicate that the regression method and features used have marginal effects on Spearman correlation between the predicted and measured values as well as prediction error. Detailed analysis of these results reveal that the bulk relationship between tissue of origin and drug response is a major driving factor in model performance. Conclusion: These results display one of the challenges in building predictive models for drug response in pan-cancer models. Mainly, that bulk genotypic traits where the signal to noise ratio is high is the dominant behavior captured in these models. This suggests that improved techniques of feature selection that can discriminate individual cell response from histotype response will yield more successful pan-cancer models.




Mannheimer, J. D., Duval, D. L., Prasad, A., & Gustafson, D. L. (2019). A systematic analysis of genomics-based modeling approaches for prediction of drug response to cytotoxic chemotherapies. BMC Medical Genomics, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12920-019-0519-2

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