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Deep Learning Accurately Predicts Estrogen Receptor Status in Breast Cancer Metabolomics Data.

J Proteome Res. 2018 01 05;17(1):337-347

Authors: Alakwaa FM, Chaudhary K, Garmire LX

Abstract
Metabolomics holds the promise as a new technology to diagnose highly heterogeneous diseases. Conventionally, metabolomics data analysis for diagnosis is done using various statistical and machine learning based classification methods. However, it remains unknown if deep neural network, a class of increasingly popular machine learning methods, is suitable to classify metabolomics data. Here we use a cohort of 271 breast cancer tissues, 204 positive estrogen receptor (ER+), and 67 negative estrogen receptor (ER-) to test the accuracies of feed-forward networks, a deep learning (DL) framework, as well as six widely used machine learning models, namely random forest (RF), support vector machines (SVM), recursive partitioning and regression trees (RPART), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), prediction analysis for microarrays (PAM), and generalized boosted models (GBM). DL framework has the highest area under the curve (AUC) of 0.93 in classifying ER+/ER- patients, compared to the other six machine learning algorithms. Furthermore, the biological interpretation of the first hidden layer reveals eight commonly enriched significant metabolomics pathways (adjusted P-value <0.05) that cannot be discovered by other machine learning methods. Among them, protein digestion and absorption and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters pathways are also confirmed in integrated analysis between metabolomics and gene expression data in these samples. In summary, deep learning method shows advantages for metabolomics based breast cancer ER status classification, with both the highest prediction accuracy (AUC = 0.93) and better revelation of disease biology. We encourage the adoption of feed-forward networks based deep learning method in the metabolomics research community for classification.

PMID: 29110491 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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