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Title: Feature Selection and Classification Reveal Key lncRNAs for Multiple Cancers
Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) plays key roles in tumorigenesis. Misexpression of lncRNA can lead to changes in expression profiles of various target genes, which are involved in cancer initiation and progression. So, identifying key lncRNAs for a cancer would help develop the cancer therapy. Usually, to identify key lncRNAs for a cancer, expression profiles of lncRNAs for normal and cancer samples are required. But, this kind of data are not available for all cancers. In the present study, a computational framework is developed to identify cancer specific key lncRNAs using the lncRNA expression of cancer patients only. The framework consists of two state-of-the-art feature selection techniques - Recursive Feature Elimination (RFE) and Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO); and five machine learning models - Naive Bayes, K-Nearest Neighbor, Random Forest, Support Vector Machine, and Deep Neural Network. For experiment, expression values of lncRNAs for 8 cancers - BLCA, CESC, COAD, HNSC, KIRP, LGG, LIHC, and LUAD - from TCGA are used. The combined dataset consists of 3,656 patients with expression values of 12,309 lncRNAs. Important features or key lncRNAs are identified by using feature selection algorithms RFE and LASSO. Capability of these key lncRNAs in classifying 8 different cancers more » is checked by the performance of five classification models. This study identified 37 key lncRNAs that can classify 8 different cancer types with an accuracy ranging from 94% to 97%. Finally, survival analysis supports that the discovered key lncRNAs are capable of differentiating between high-risk and low-risk patients. « less
Authors:
;
Award ID(s):
1901628 1651917
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10141529
Journal Name:
2019 IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine (IEEE BIBM)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
2825 to 2831
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Background: Long non-coding RNA plays a vital role in changing the expression profiles of various target genes that lead to cancer development. Thus, identifying prognostic lncRNAs related to different cancers might help in developing cancer therapy. Method: To discover the critical lncRNAs that can identify the origin of different cancers, we propose the use of the state-of-the-art deep learning algorithm concrete autoencoder (CAE) in an unsupervised setting, which efficiently identifies a subset of the most informative features. However, CAE does not identify reproducible features in different runs due to its stochastic nature. We thus propose a multi-run CAE (mrCAE) to identify a stable set of features to address this issue. The assumption is that a feature appearing in multiple runs carries more meaningful information about the data under consideration. The genome-wide lncRNA expression profiles of 12 different types of cancers, with a total of 4768 samples available in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), were analyzed to discover the key lncRNAs. The lncRNAs identified by multiple runs of CAE were added to a final list of key lncRNAs that are capable of identifying 12 different cancers. Results: Our results showed that mrCAE performs better in feature selection than single-run CAE, standardmore »autoencoder (AE), and other state-of-the-art feature selection techniques. This study revealed a set of top-ranking 128 lncRNAs that could identify the origin of 12 different cancers with an accuracy of 95%. Survival analysis showed that 76 of 128 lncRNAs have the prognostic capability to differentiate high- and low-risk groups of patients with different cancers. Conclusion: The proposed mrCAE, which selects actual features, outperformed the AE even though it selects the latent or pseudo-features. By selecting actual features instead of pseudo-features, mrCAE can be valuable for precision medicine. The identified prognostic lncRNAs can be further studied to develop therapies for different cancers.« less
  2. Obeid, I. (Ed.)
    The Neural Engineering Data Consortium (NEDC) is developing the Temple University Digital Pathology Corpus (TUDP), an open source database of high-resolution images from scanned pathology samples [1], as part of its National Science Foundation-funded Major Research Instrumentation grant titled “MRI: High Performance Digital Pathology Using Big Data and Machine Learning” [2]. The long-term goal of this project is to release one million images. We have currently scanned over 100,000 images and are in the process of annotating breast tissue data for our first official corpus release, v1.0.0. This release contains 3,505 annotated images of breast tissue including 74 patients with cancerous diagnoses (out of a total of 296 patients). In this poster, we will present an analysis of this corpus and discuss the challenges we have faced in efficiently producing high quality annotations of breast tissue. It is well known that state of the art algorithms in machine learning require vast amounts of data. Fields such as speech recognition [3], image recognition [4] and text processing [5] are able to deliver impressive performance with complex deep learning models because they have developed large corpora to support training of extremely high-dimensional models (e.g., billions of parameters). Other fields that do notmore »have access to such data resources must rely on techniques in which existing models can be adapted to new datasets [6]. A preliminary version of this breast corpus release was tested in a pilot study using a baseline machine learning system, ResNet18 [7], that leverages several open-source Python tools. The pilot corpus was divided into three sets: train, development, and evaluation. Portions of these slides were manually annotated [1] using the nine labels in Table 1 [8] to identify five to ten examples of pathological features on each slide. Not every pathological feature is annotated, meaning excluded areas can include focuses particular to these labels that are not used for training. A summary of the number of patches within each label is given in Table 2. To maintain a balanced training set, 1,000 patches of each label were used to train the machine learning model. Throughout all sets, only annotated patches were involved in model development. The performance of this model in identifying all the patches in the evaluation set can be seen in the confusion matrix of classification accuracy in Table 3. The highest performing labels were background, 97% correct identification, and artifact, 76% correct identification. A correlation exists between labels with more than 6,000 development patches and accurate performance on the evaluation set. Additionally, these results indicated a need to further refine the annotation of invasive ductal carcinoma (“indc”), inflammation (“infl”), nonneoplastic features (“nneo”), normal (“norm”) and suspicious (“susp”). This pilot experiment motivated changes to the corpus that will be discussed in detail in this poster presentation. To increase the accuracy of the machine learning model, we modified how we addressed underperforming labels. One common source of error arose with how non-background labels were converted into patches. Large areas of background within other labels were isolated within a patch resulting in connective tissue misrepresenting a non-background label. In response, the annotation overlay margins were revised to exclude benign connective tissue in non-background labels. Corresponding patient reports and supporting immunohistochemical stains further guided annotation reviews. The microscopic diagnoses given by the primary pathologist in these reports detail the pathological findings within each tissue site, but not within each specific slide. The microscopic diagnoses informed revisions specifically targeting annotated regions classified as cancerous, ensuring that the labels “indc” and “dcis” were used only in situations where a micropathologist diagnosed it as such. Further differentiation of cancerous and precancerous labels, as well as the location of their focus on a slide, could be accomplished with supplemental immunohistochemically (IHC) stained slides. When distinguishing whether a focus is a nonneoplastic feature versus a cancerous growth, pathologists employ antigen targeting stains to the tissue in question to confirm the diagnosis. For example, a nonneoplastic feature of usual ductal hyperplasia will display diffuse staining for cytokeratin 5 (CK5) and no diffuse staining for estrogen receptor (ER), while a cancerous growth of ductal carcinoma in situ will have negative or focally positive staining for CK5 and diffuse staining for ER [9]. Many tissue samples contain cancerous and non-cancerous features with morphological overlaps that cause variability between annotators. The informative fields IHC slides provide could play an integral role in machine model pathology diagnostics. Following the revisions made on all the annotations, a second experiment was run using ResNet18. Compared to the pilot study, an increase of model prediction accuracy was seen for the labels indc, infl, nneo, norm, and null. This increase is correlated with an increase in annotated area and annotation accuracy. Model performance in identifying the suspicious label decreased by 25% due to the decrease of 57% in the total annotated area described by this label. A summary of the model performance is given in Table 4, which shows the new prediction accuracy and the absolute change in error rate compared to Table 3. The breast tissue subset we are developing includes 3,505 annotated breast pathology slides from 296 patients. The average size of a scanned SVS file is 363 MB. The annotations are stored in an XML format. A CSV version of the annotation file is also available which provides a flat, or simple, annotation that is easy for machine learning researchers to access and interface to their systems. Each patient is identified by an anonymized medical reference number. Within each patient’s directory, one or more sessions are identified, also anonymized to the first of the month in which the sample was taken. These sessions are broken into groupings of tissue taken on that date (in this case, breast tissue). A deidentified patient report stored as a flat text file is also available. Within these slides there are a total of 16,971 total annotated regions with an average of 4.84 annotations per slide. Among those annotations, 8,035 are non-cancerous (normal, background, null, and artifact,) 6,222 are carcinogenic signs (inflammation, nonneoplastic and suspicious,) and 2,714 are cancerous labels (ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive ductal carcinoma in situ.) The individual patients are split up into three sets: train, development, and evaluation. Of the 74 cancerous patients, 20 were allotted for both the development and evaluation sets, while the remain 34 were allotted for train. The remaining 222 patients were split up to preserve the overall distribution of labels within the corpus. This was done in hope of creating control sets for comparable studies. Overall, the development and evaluation sets each have 80 patients, while the training set has 136 patients. In a related component of this project, slides from the Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) Biosample Repository (https://www.foxchase.org/research/facilities/genetic-research-facilities/biosample-repository -facility) are being digitized in addition to slides provided by Temple University Hospital. This data includes 18 different types of tissue including approximately 38.5% urinary tissue and 16.5% gynecological tissue. These slides and the metadata provided with them are already anonymized and include diagnoses in a spreadsheet with sample and patient ID. We plan to release over 13,000 unannotated slides from the FCCC Corpus simultaneously with v1.0.0 of TUDP. Details of this release will also be discussed in this poster. Few digitally annotated databases of pathology samples like TUDP exist due to the extensive data collection and processing required. The breast corpus subset should be released by November 2021. By December 2021 we should also release the unannotated FCCC data. We are currently annotating urinary tract data as well. We expect to release about 5,600 processed TUH slides in this subset. We have an additional 53,000 unprocessed TUH slides digitized. Corpora of this size will stimulate the development of a new generation of deep learning technology. In clinical settings where resources are limited, an assistive diagnoses model could support pathologists’ workload and even help prioritize suspected cancerous cases. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This material is supported by the National Science Foundation under grants nos. CNS-1726188 and 1925494. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. REFERENCES [1] N. Shawki et al., “The Temple University Digital Pathology Corpus,” in Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology: Emerging Trends in Research and Applications, 1st ed., I. Obeid, I. Selesnick, and J. Picone, Eds. New York City, New York, USA: Springer, 2020, pp. 67 104. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030368432. [2] J. Picone, T. Farkas, I. Obeid, and Y. Persidsky, “MRI: High Performance Digital Pathology Using Big Data and Machine Learning.” Major Research Instrumentation (MRI), Division of Computer and Network Systems, Award No. 1726188, January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2021. https://www. isip.piconepress.com/projects/nsf_dpath/. [3] A. Gulati et al., “Conformer: Convolution-augmented Transformer for Speech Recognition,” in Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH), 2020, pp. 5036-5040. https://doi.org/10.21437/interspeech.2020-3015. [4] C.-J. Wu et al., “Machine Learning at Facebook: Understanding Inference at the Edge,” in Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA), 2019, pp. 331–344. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8675201. [5] I. Caswell and B. Liang, “Recent Advances in Google Translate,” Google AI Blog: The latest from Google Research, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://ai.googleblog.com/2020/06/recent-advances-in-google-translate.html. [Accessed: 01-Aug-2021]. [6] V. Khalkhali, N. Shawki, V. Shah, M. Golmohammadi, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “Low Latency Real-Time Seizure Detection Using Transfer Deep Learning,” in Proceedings of the IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB), 2021, pp. 1 7. https://www.isip. piconepress.com/publications/conference_proceedings/2021/ieee_spmb/eeg_transfer_learning/. [7] J. Picone, T. Farkas, I. Obeid, and Y. Persidsky, “MRI: High Performance Digital Pathology Using Big Data and Machine Learning,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2020. https://www.isip.piconepress.com/publications/reports/2020/nsf/mri_dpath/. [8] I. Hunt, S. Husain, J. Simons, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “Recent Advances in the Temple University Digital Pathology Corpus,” in Proceedings of the IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB), 2019, pp. 1–4. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9037859. [9] A. P. Martinez, C. Cohen, K. Z. Hanley, and X. (Bill) Li, “Estrogen Receptor and Cytokeratin 5 Are Reliable Markers to Separate Usual Ductal Hyperplasia From Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia and Low-Grade Ductal Carcinoma In Situ,” Arch. Pathol. Lab. Med., vol. 140, no. 7, pp. 686–689, Apr. 2016. https://doi.org/10.5858/arpa.2015-0238-OA.« less
  3. Abstract Detection of prognostic factors associated with patients’ survival outcome helps gain insights into a disease and guide treatment decisions. The rapid advancement of high-throughput technologies has yielded plentiful genomic biomarkers as candidate prognostic factors, but most are of limited use in clinical application. As the price of the technology drops over time, many genomic studies are conducted to explore a common scientific question in different cohorts to identify more reproducible and credible biomarkers. However, new challenges arise from heterogeneity in study populations and designs when jointly analyzing the multiple studies. For example, patients from different cohorts show different demographic characteristics and risk profiles. Existing high-dimensional variable selection methods for survival analysis, however, are restricted to single study analysis. We propose a novel Cox model based two-stage variable selection method called “Cox-TOTEM” to detect survival-associated biomarkers common in multiple genomic studies. Simulations showed our method greatly improved the sensitivity of variable selection as compared to the separate applications of existing methods to each study, especially when the signals are weak or when the studies are heterogeneous. An application of our method to TCGA transcriptomic data identified essential survival associated genes related to the common disease mechanism of five Pan-Gynecologic cancers.
  4. Abstract Background

    Intracranial aneurysms (IAs) are dangerous because of their potential to rupture. We previously found significant RNA expression differences in circulating neutrophils between patients with and without unruptured IAs and trained machine learning models to predict presence of IA using 40 neutrophil transcriptomes. Here, we aim to develop a predictive model for unruptured IA using neutrophil transcriptomes from a larger population and more robust machine learning methods.

    Methods

    Neutrophil RNA extracted from the blood of 134 patients (55 with IA, 79 IA-free controls) was subjected to next-generation RNA sequencing. In a randomly-selected training cohort (n = 94), the Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) selected transcripts, from which we constructed prediction models via 4 well-established supervised machine-learning algorithms (K-Nearest Neighbors, Random Forest, and Support Vector Machines with Gaussian and cubic kernels). We tested the models in the remaining samples (n = 40) and assessed model performance by receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) curves. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) of 9 IA-associated genes was used to verify gene expression in a subset of 49 neutrophil RNA samples. We also examined the potential influence of demographics and comorbidities on model prediction.

    Results

    Feature selection using LASSO in the training cohort identified 37 IA-associated transcripts. Models trained using these transcriptsmore »had a maximum accuracy of 90% in the testing cohort. The testing performance across all methods had an average area under ROC curve (AUC) = 0.97, an improvement over our previous models. The Random Forest model performed best across both training and testing cohorts. RT-qPCR confirmed expression differences in 7 of 9 genes tested. Gene ontology and IPA network analyses performed on the 37 model genes reflected dysregulated inflammation, cell signaling, and apoptosis processes. In our data, demographics and comorbidities did not affect model performance.

    Conclusions

    We improved upon our previous IA prediction models based on circulating neutrophil transcriptomes by increasing sample size and by implementing LASSO and more robust machine learning methods. Future studies are needed to validate these models in larger cohorts and further investigate effect of covariates.

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  5. Finding the network biomarkers of cancers and the analysis of cancer driving genes that are involved in these biomarkers are essential for understanding the dynamics of cancer. Clusters of genes in co-expression networks are commonly known as functional units. This work is based on the hypothesis that the dense clusters or communities in the gene co-expression networks of cancer patients may represent functional units regarding cancer initiation and progression. In this study, RNA-seq gene expression data of three cancers - Breast Invasive Carcinoma (BRCA), Colorectal Adenocarcinoma (COAD) and Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) - from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) are used to construct gene co-expression networks using Pearson Correlation. Six well-known community detection algorithms are applied on these networks to identify communities with five or more genes. A permutation test is performed to further mine the communities that are conserved in other cancers, thus calling them conserved communities. Then survival analysis is performed on clinical data of three cancers using the conserved community genes as prognostic co-variates. The communities that could distinguish the cancer patients between high- and low-risk groups are considered as cancer biomarkers. In the present study, 16 such network biomarkers are discovered.