Polygenic-N-of-1 Biomarker (Emerging Pathways Signal)

Polygenic Biomarker Paper
Abstract: Recent precision medicine initiatives have led to the expectation of improved clinical decisionmaking anchored in genomic data science. However, over the last decade, only a handful of new single-gene product biomarkers have been translated to clinical practice (FDA approved) in spite of considerable discovery efforts deployed and a plethora of transcriptomes available in the Gene Expression Omnibus. With this modest outcome of current approaches in mind, we developed a pilot simulation study to demonstrate the untapped benefits of developing disease detection methods for cases where the true signal lies at the pathway level, even if the pathway’s gene expression alterations may be heterogeneous across patients. In other words, we relaxed the crosspatient homogeneity assumption from the transcript level (cohort assumptions of deregulated gene expression) to the pathway level (assumptions of deregulated pathway expression). Furthermore, we have expanded previous single-subject (SS) methods into cohort analyses to illustrate the benefit of accounting for an individual’s variability in cohort scenarios. We compare SS and cohort-based (CB) techniques under 54 distinct scenarios, each with 1,000 simulations, to demonstrate that the emergence of a pathway-level signal occurs through the summative effect of its altered gene expression, heterogeneous across patients. Studied variables include pathway gene set size, fraction of expressed gene responsive within gene set, fraction of expressed gene responsive up-vs down-regulated, and cohort size. We demonstrated that our SS approach was uniquely suited to detect signals in heterogeneous populations in which individuals have varying levels of baseline risks that are simultaneously confounded by patient-specific “genome-byenvironment” interactions (G×E). Area under the precision-recall curve of the SS approach far surpassed that of the CB (1st quartile, median, 3rd quartile: SS = 0.94, 0.96, 0.99; CB= 0.50, 0.52,0.65). We conclude that single-subject pathway detection methods are uniquely suited for consistently detecting pathway dysregulation by the inclusion of a patient’s individual variability.

Evaluating single-subject study methods for personal transcriptomic interpretations to advance precision medicine

Ensemble Biomarker Link
Abstract Background: Gene expression profiling has benefited medicine by providing clinically relevant insights at the molecular candidate and systems levels. However, to adopt a more ‘precision’ approach that integrates individual variability including ‘omics data into risk assessments, diagnoses, and therapeutic decision making, whole transcriptome expression analysis requires methodological advancements. One need is for users to confidently be able to make individual-level inferences from whole transcriptome data. We propose that biological replicates in isogenic conditions can provide a framework for testing differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in a single subject (ss) in absence of an appropriate external reference standard or replicates. Methods: Eight ss methods for identifying genes with differential expression (NOISeq, DEGseq, edgeR, mixture model, DESeq, DESeq2, iDEG, and ensemble) were compared in Yeast (parental line versus snf2 deletion mutant; n=42/condition) and MCF7 breast-cancer cell (baseline and stimulated with estradiol; n=7/condition) RNA-Seq datasets where replicate analysis was used to build reference standards from NOISeq, DEGseq, edgeR, DESeq, DESeq2. Each dataset was randomly partitioned so that approximately two-thirds of the paired samples were used to construct reference standards and the remainder were treated separately as single-subject sample pairs and DEGs were assayed using ss methods. Receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) and precision-recall plots were determined for all ss methods against each RSs in both datasets (525 combinations). Results: Consistent with prior analyses of these data, ~50% and ~15% DEGs were respectively obtained in Yeast and MCF7 reference standard datasets regardless of the analytical method. NOISeq, edgeR and DESeq were the most concordant and robust methods for creating a reference standard. Single-subject versions of NOISeq, DEGseq, and an ensemble learner achieved the best median ROC-area-under-the-curve to compare two transcriptomes without replicates regardless of the type of reference standard (>90% in Yeast, >0.75 in MCF7). Conclusion: Better and more consistent accuracies are obtained by an ensemble method applied to single-subject studies across different conditions. In addition, distinct specific sing-subject methods perform better according to different proportions of DEGs. Single-subject methods for identifying DEGs from paired samples need improvement, as no method performs with both precision>90% and recall>90%. http://www.lussiergroup.org/publications/EnsembleBiomarker Keywords: Single-subject studies, precision medicine, genomic medicine, medical genomics, n-of-1, transcriptome, N-of-1 studies

N-of-1 R Package Development

N-of-1 R Package

SMART_VIS: Detecting Interactions in Tree Models

Coming soon..