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Title: Identifying gene expression patterns associated with drug-specific survival in cancer patients
Abstract The ability to predict the efficacy of cancer treatments is a longstanding goal of precision medicine that requires improved understanding of molecular interactions with drugs and the discovery of biomarkers of drug response. Identifying genes whose expression influences drug sensitivity can help address both of these needs, elucidating the molecular pathways involved in drug efficacy and providing potential ways to predict new patients’ response to available therapies. In this study, we integrated cancer type, drug treatment, and survival data with RNA-seq gene expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas to identify genes and gene sets whose expression levels in patient tumor biopsies are associated with drug-specific patient survival using a log-rank test comparing survival of patients with low vs. high expression for each gene. This analysis was successful in identifying thousands of such gene–drug relationships across 20 drugs in 14 cancers, several of which have been previously implicated in the respective drug’s efficacy. We then clustered significant genes based on their expression patterns across patients and defined gene sets that are more robust predictors of patient outcome, many of which were significantly enriched for target genes of one or more transcription factors, indicating several upstream regulatory mechanisms that may more » be involved in drug efficacy. We identified a large number of genes and gene sets that were potentially useful as transcript-level biomarkers for predicting drug-specific patient survival outcome. Our gene sets were robust predictors of drug-specific survival and our results included both novel and previously reported findings, suggesting that the drug-specific survival marker genes reported herein warrant further investigation for insights into drug mechanisms and for validation as biomarkers to aid cancer therapy decisions. « less
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Award ID(s):
2007029 1552784
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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