Prediction of anti-cancer drug response by kernelized multi-task learning
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Motivation: Chemotherapy or targeted therapy are two of the main treatment options for many types of cancer. Due to the heterogeneous nature of cancer, the success of the therapeutic agents differs among patients. In this sense, determination of chemotherapeutic response of the malign cells is essential for establishing a personalized treatment protocol and designing new drugs. With the recent technological advances in producing large amounts of pharmacogenomic data, in silico methods have become important tools to achieve this aim. Objective: Data produced by using cancer cell lines provide a test bed for machine learning algorithms that try to predict the response of cancer cells to different agents. The potential use of these algorithms in drug discovery/repositioning and personalized treatments motivated us in this study to work on predicting drug response by exploiting the recent pharmacogenomic databases. We aim to improve the prediction of drug response of cancer cell lines. Methods: We propose to use a method that employs multi-task learning to improve learning by transfer, and kernels to extract non-linear relationships to predict drug response. Results: The method outperforms three state-of-the-art algorithms on three anti-cancer drug screen datasets. We achieved a mean squared error of 3.305 and 0.501 on two different large scale screen data sets. On a recent challenge dataset, we obtained an error of 0.556. We report the methodological comparison results as well as the performance of the proposed algorithm on each single drug. Conclusion: The results show that the proposed method is a strong candidate to predict drug response of cancer cell lines in silico for pre-clinical studies. The source code of the algorithm and data used can be obtained from http://mtan.etu.edu.tr/Supplementary/kMTrace/. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.