Background: Expert-based genotypic interpretation systems are standard methods for guiding treatment selection for patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1. We previously introduced the software pipeline geno2pheno-THEO (g2p-THEO), which on the basis of viral sequence predicts the response to treatment with a combination of antiretroviral compounds by applying methods from statistical learning and the estimated potential of the virus to escape from drug pressure.
Methods: We retrospectively validated the statistical model used by g2p-THEO in approximately 7600 independent treatment-sequence pairs extracted from the EuResist integrated database, ranging from 1990 to 2007. Results were compared with the 3 most widely used expert-based interpretation systems: Stanford HIVdb, ANRS, and Rega.
Results: The difference in receiver operating characteristic curves between g2p-THEO and expert-based approaches was significant (P < .001; paired Wilcoxon test). Indeed, at 80% specificity, g2p-THEO found 16.2%-19.8% more successful regimens than did the expert-based approaches. The increased performance of g2p-THEO was confirmed in a 2001-2007 data set from which most obsolete therapies had been removed.
Conclusion: Finding drug combinations that increase the chances of therapeutic success is the main reason for using decision support systems. The present analysis of a large data set derived from clinical practice demonstrates that g2p-THEO solves this task significantly better than state-of-the-art expert-based systems. The tool is available at http://www.geno2pheno.org.