Big-data-based edge biomarkers: study on dynamical drug sensitivity and resistance in individuals

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Big-data-based edge biomarker is a new concept to characterize disease features based on biomedical big data in a dynamical and network manner, which also provides alternative strategies to indicate disease status in single samples. This article gives a comprehensive review on big-data-based edge biomarkers for complex diseases in an individual patient, which are defined as biomarkers based on network information and high-dimensional data. Specifically, we firstly introduce the sources and structures of biomedical big data accessible in public for edge biomarker and disease study. We show that biomedical big data are typically ‘small-sample size in high-dimension space', i.e. small samples but with high dimensions on features (e.g. omics data) for each individual, in contrast to traditional big data in many other fields characterized as ‘large-sample size in low-dimension space', i.e. big samples but with low dimensions on features. Then, we demonstrate the concept, model and algorithm for edge biomarkers and further big-data-based edge biomarkers. Dissimilar to conventional biomarkers, edge biomarkers, e.g. module biomarkers in module network rewiring-analysis, are able to predict the disease state by learning differential associations between molecules rather than differential expressions of molecules during disease progression or treatment in individual patients. In particular, in contrast to using the information of the common molecules or edges (i.e.molecule-pairs) across a population in traditional biomarkers including network and edge biomarkers, big-data-based edge biomarkers are specific for each individual and thus can accurately evaluate the disease state by considering the individual heterogeneity. Therefore, the measurement of big data in a high-dimensional space is required not only in the learning process but also in the diagnosing or predicting process of the tested individual. Finally, we provide a case study on analyzing the temporal expression data from a malaria vaccine trial by big-data-based edge biomarkers from module network rewiring-analysis. The illustrative results show that the identified module biomarkers can accurately distinguish vaccines with or without protection and outperformed previous reported gene signatures in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.

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