Integration of RNA-Seq and RPPA data for survival time prediction in cancer patients


Integration of several types of patient data in a computational framework can accelerate the identification of more reliable biomarkers, especially for prognostic purposes. Researchers at Dokuz Eylul University aimed to identify biomarkers that can successfully predict the potential survival time of a cancer patient by integrating the transcriptomic (RNA-Seq), proteomic (RPPA), and protein-protein interaction (PPI) data. The proposed method -RPBioNet- employs a random walk-based algorithm that works on a PPI network to identify a limited number of protein biomarkers. Later, the method uses gene expression measurements of the selected biomarkers to train a classifier for the survival time prediction of patients. RPBioNet was applied to classify kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC), glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), and lung squamous cell carcinoma (LUSC) patients based on their survival time classes (long- or short-term). The RPBioNet method correctly identified the survival time classes of patients with between 66% and 78% average accuracy for three data sets. RPBioNet operates with only 20 to 50 biomarkers and can achieve on average 6% higher accuracy compared to the closest alternative method, which uses only RNA-Seq data in the biomarker selection. Further analysis of the most predictive biomarkers highlighted genes that are common for both cancer types, as they may be driver proteins responsible for cancer progression. The novelty of this study is the integration of a PPI network with mRNA and protein expression data to identify more accurate prognostic biomarkers that can be used for clinical purposes in the future.

Isik Z, Ercan ME. (2017) Integration of RNA-Seq and RPPA data for survival time prediction in cancer patients. Comput Biol Med [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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