CrossICC: iterative consensus clustering of cross-platform gene expression data without adjusting batch effect

Brief Bioinform. 2020 Sep 25;21(5):1818-1824. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbz116.


Unsupervised clustering of high-throughput gene expression data is widely adopted for cancer subtyping. However, cancer subtypes derived from a single dataset are usually not applicable across multiple datasets from different platforms. Merging different datasets is necessary to determine accurate and applicable cancer subtypes but is still embarrassing due to the batch effect. CrossICC is an R package designed for the unsupervised clustering of gene expression data from multiple datasets/platforms without the requirement of batch effect adjustment. CrossICC utilizes an iterative strategy to derive the optimal gene signature and cluster numbers from a consensus similarity matrix generated by consensus clustering. This package also provides abundant functions to visualize the identified subtypes and evaluate subtyping performance. We expected that CrossICC could be used to discover the robust cancer subtypes with significant translational implications in personalized care for cancer patients.

Availability and implementation: The package is implemented in R and available at GitHub ( and Bioconductor ( under the GPL v3 License.

Keywords: batch effect; cancer subtyping; cross-platform; gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics*