Prognostic model for multiple myeloma progression integrating gene expression and clinical features

Gigascience. 2019 Dec 1;8(12):giz153. doi: 10.1093/gigascience/giz153.


Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematological cancer caused by abnormal accumulation of monoclonal plasma cells in bone marrow. With the increase in treatment options, risk-adapted therapy is becoming more and more important. Survival analysis is commonly applied to study progression or other events of interest and stratify the risk of patients.

Results: In this study, we present the current state-of-the-art model for MM prognosis and the molecular biomarker set for stratification: the winning algorithm in the 2017 Multiple Myeloma DREAM Challenge, Sub-Challenge 3. Specifically, we built a non-parametric complete hazard ranking model to map the right-censored data into a linear space, where commonplace machine learning techniques, such as Gaussian process regression and random forests, can play their roles. Our model integrated both the gene expression profile and clinical features to predict the progression of MM. Compared with conventional models, such as Cox model and random survival forests, our model achieved higher accuracy in 3 within-cohort predictions. In addition, it showed robust predictive power in cross-cohort validations. Key molecular signatures related to MM progression were identified from our model, which may function as the core determinants of MM progression and provide important guidance for future research and clinical practice. Functional enrichment analysis and mammalian gene-gene interaction network revealed crucial biological processes and pathways involved in MM progression. The model is dockerized and publicly available at!Synapse:syn11459638. Both data and reproducible code are included in the docker.

Conclusions: We present the current state-of-the-art prognostic model for MM integrating gene expression and clinical features validated in an independent test set.

Keywords: GuanRank; gene signature; multiple myeloma; prognostic model; survival analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Gene Regulatory Networks*
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Multiple Myeloma / genetics*
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality*
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis