Cell Lines, Microarrays, Drugs and Disease: Trying to Predict Response to Chemotherapy

Start: 09/17/2009 - 4:00pm
End  : 09/17/2009 - 5:15pm

Statistics/OR/Math Finance Seminar

Keith Baggerly, UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center


Over the past few years, microarray experiments have supplied
much information about the disregulation of biological pathways
associated with various types of cancer. Many studies focus on
identifying subgroups of patients with particularly aggressive forms of
disease, so that we know who to treat. A corresponding question is how
to treat them. Given the treatment options available today, this means
trying to predict which chemotherapeutic regimens will be most effective.

We can try to predict response to chemo with microarrays by
defining signatures of drug sensitivity. In establishing such
signatures, we would really like to use samples from cell lines, as
these can be (a) grown in abundance, (b) tested with the agents under
controlled conditions, and (c) assayed without poisoning patients.
Recent studies have suggested how this approach might work using a
widely-used panel of cell lines, the NCI60, to assemble the response
signatures for several drugs. Unfortunately, ambiguities associated with
analyzing the data have made these results difficult to reproduce.

In this talk, we will describe how we have analyzed the data,
and the implications of the ambiguities for the clinical findings. We
will also describe methods for making such analyses more reproducible,
so that progress can be made more steadily.

Sprague 3rd Floor Seminar Area Harvey Mudd College