Tumor classification by partial least squares using microarray gene expression data

Danh V. Nguyen, David M Rocke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

637 Scopus citations


Motivation: One important application of gene expression microarray data is classification of samples into categories, such as the type of tumor. The use of microarrays allows simultaneous monitoring of thousands of genes expressions per sample. This ability to measure gene expression en masse has resulted in data with the number of variables p (genes) far exceeding the number of samples N. Standard statistical methodologies in classification and prediction do not work well or even at all when N < p. Modification of existing statistical methodologies or development of new methodologies is needed for the analysis of microarray data. Results: We propose a novel analysis procedure for classifying (predicting) human tumor samples based on microarray gene expressions. This procedure involves dimension reduction using Partial Least Squares (PLS) and classification using Logistic Discrimination (LD) and Quadratic Discriminant Analysis (QDA). We compare PLS to the well known dimension reduction method of Principal Components Analysis (PCA). Under many circumstances PLS proves superior; we illustrate a condition when PCA particularly fails to predict well relative to PLS. The proposed methods were applied to five different microarray data sets involving various human tumor samples: (1) normal versus ovarian tumor; (2) Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) versus Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL); (3) Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCLL) versus B-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (BCLL); (4) normal versus colon tumor; and (5) Non-Small-Cell-Lung-Carcinoma (NSCLC) versus renal samples. Stability of classification results and methods were further assessed by re-randomization studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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