Improving personalized prediction of cancer prognoses with clonal evolution models
AbstractCancer occurs via an accumulation of somatic genomic alterations in a process of clonal evolution. There has been intensive study of potential causal mutations driving cancer development and progression. However, much recent evidence suggests that tumor evolution is normally driven by a variety of mechanisms of somatic hypermutability, known as mutator phenotypes, which act in different combinations or degrees in different cancers. Here we explore the question of how and to which degree
... different mutator phenotypes act in a cancer predict its future progression. We develop a computational paradigm using evolutionary tree inference (tumor phylogeny) algorithms to derive features quantifying single-tumor mutational preferences, followed by a machine learning frame-work to identify key features predictive of progression. We build phylogenies tracing the evolution of subclones of cells in tumor tissues using a variety of somatic genomic alterations, including single nucleotide variations, copy number alterations, and structural variations. We demonstrate that mutation preference features derived from the phylogenies are predictive of clinical outcomes of cancer progression – overall survival and disease-free survival – based on the analyses on breast invasive carcinoma, lung adenocarcinoma, and lung squamous cell carcinoma. We further show that mutational phenotypes have predictive power even after accounting for traditional clinical and driver-centric predictors of progression. These results confirm the power of mutational phenotypes as an independent class of predictive biomarkers and suggest a strategy for enhancing the predictive power of conventional clinical or driver-centric genomic features.