Discussion of combining biomarkers to optimize patient treatment recommendations

Biometrics. 2014 Sep;70(3):713-6. doi: 10.1111/biom.12189. Epub 2014 May 30.


Kang, Janes and Huang propose an interesting boosting method to combine biomarkers for treatment selection. The method requires modeling the treatment effects using markers. We discuss an alternative method, outcome weighted learning. This method sidesteps the need for modeling the outcomes, and thus can be more robust to model misspecification.

Keywords: Boosting; Outcome weighted learning; Personalized medicine; Support vector machine.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Biometry / methods*
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor