Predicting drug response of tumors from integrated genomic profiles by deep neural networks

Chiu, Yu-Chiao, Chen, Hung-I Harry, Zhang, Tinghe, Zhang, Songyao, Gorthi, Aparna, Wang, Li-Ju, Huang, Yufei, Chen, Yidong Machine Learning 

The study of high-throughput genomic profiles from a pharmacogenomics viewpoint has provided unprecedented insights into the oncogenic features modulating drug response. A recent screening of ~1,000 cancer cell lines to a collection of anti-cancer drugs illuminated the link between genotypes and vulnerability. However, due to essential differences between cell lines and tumors, the translation into predicting drug response in tumors remains challenging. Here we proposed a DNN model to predict drug response based on mutation and expression profiles of a cancer cell or a tumor. The model contains a mutation and an expression encoders pre-trained using a large pan-cancer dataset to abstract core representations of high-dimension data, followed by a drug response predictor network. Given a pair of mutation and expression profiles, the model predicts IC50 values of 265 drugs. We trained and tested the model on a dataset of 622 cancer cell lines and achieved an overall prediction performance of mean squared error at 1.96 (log-scale IC50 values). The performance was superior in prediction error or stability than two classical methods and four analog DNNs of our model. We then applied the model to predict drug response of 9,059 tumors of 33 cancer types. The model predicted both known, including EGFR inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer and tamoxifen in ER+ breast cancer, and novel drug targets. The comprehensive analysis further revealed the molecular mechanisms underlying the resistance to a chemotherapeutic drug docetaxel in a pan-cancer setting and the anti-cancer potential of a novel agent, CX-5461, in treating gliomas and hematopoietic malignancies. Overall, our model and findings improve the prediction of drug response and the identification of novel therapeutic options.

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