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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17734

Title: Molecular Prediction of Patient Prognosis
Authors: Boutros, Paul Christopher
Advisor: Penn, Linda Z.
Jurisica, Igor
Department: Medical Biophysics
Keywords: systems biology
prognostic markers
Issue Date: 23-Sep-2009
Abstract: Each cancer is unique: it reflects the underlying genetic make-up of the patient and the stochastic mutational processes that occur within the tumour. This uniqueness suggests that each patient should receive a personalized type of therapy. Current predictions of a cancer patient’s outcome or prognosis are highly inaccurate. To aid in the prediction of patient prognosis based on highthroughput molecular datasets I have worked to optimize each step of the experimental pipeline: platform annotation, experimental design, consideration of tumour heterogeneity, data pre-processing and statistical analysis, and feature selection. First, a 12k CpG Island clone library was sequenced and annotated using a BLAT analysis. Second, microarrays built using this library were used in a fully-saturated study to evaluate the importance of ChIP-chip experimental design parameters. Third, intra-tumour heterogeneity was shown to influence specific pathways in a large fraction of genes. Fourth, a systematic empirical evaluation of 19,446 combinations of microarray analysis methods identified key steps of the analysis process and provided insight into their optimization. Finally, the combination of a two-stage experimental design and a novel semi-supervised algorithm yielded a six-gene, mRNA abundance-based classifier that could divide non-small cell lung cancer patients into two groups with significantly different outcomes in four independent validation cohorts. Further, a permutation study showed that millions of six-gene markers exist, but that ours ranked amongst the top 99.98% of all six-gene markers. The knowledge gained from these studies provides a key foundation for the development of personalized therapies for cancer patients.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17734
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Medical Biophysics - Doctoral theses

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