Tissue classification with gene expression profiles

A. Ben-Dor*, L. Bruhn, N. Friedman, I. Nachman, M. Schummer, Z. Yakhini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

539 Scopus citations


Constantly improving gene expression profiling technologies are expected to provide understanding and insight into cancer-related cellular processes. Gene expression data is also expected to significantly aid in the development of efficient cancer diagnosis and classification platforms. In this work we examine three sets of gene expression data measured across sets of tumor(s) and normal clinical samples: The first set consists of 2,000 genes, measured in 62 epithelial colon samples (Alon et al., 1999). The second consists of ≃ 100,000 clones, measured in 32 ovarian samples (unpublished extension of data set described in Schummer et al. (1999)). The third set consists of ≃ 7,100 genes, measured in 72 bone marrow and peripheral blood samples (Golub et al., 1999). We examine the use of scoring methods, measuring separation of tissue type (e.g., tumors from normals) using individual gene expression levels. These are then coupled with high-dimensional classification methods to assess the classification power of complete expression profiles. We present results of performing leave-one-out cross validation (LOOCV) experiments on the three data sets, employing nearest neighbor classifier, SVM (Cortes and Vapnik, 1995), AdaBoost (Freund and Schapire, 1997) and a novel clustering-based classification technique. As tumor samples can differ from normal samples in their cell-type composition, we also perform LOOCV experiments using appropriately modified sets of genes, attempting to eliminate the resulting bias. We demonstrate success rate of at least 90% in tumor versus normal classification, using sets of selected genes, with, as well as without, cellular-contamination-related members. These results are insensitive to the exact selection mechanism, over a certain range.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)559-583
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Computational Biology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Colon cancer
  • Gene expression analysis
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Tissue classification


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