Early cancer detection has always been a major research focus in solid tumor oncology. Early tumor detection can theoretically result in lower stage tumors, more treatable diseases and ultimately higher cure rates with less treatment-related morbidities. Protein mass spectrometry is a potentially powerful tool for early cancer detection. We propose a novel method for sample classification from protein mass spectrometry data. When applied to spectra from both diseased and healthy patients, the 'peak probability contrast' technique provides a list of all common peaks among the spectra, their statistical significance and their relative importance in discriminating between the two groups. We illustrate the method on matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization mass spectrometry data from a study of ovarian cancers.Compared to other statistical approaches for class prediction, the peak probability contrast method performs as well or better than several methods that require the full spectra, rather than just labelled peaks. It is also much more interpretable biologically. The peak probability contrast method is a potentially useful tool for sample classification from protein mass spectrometry data.
View details for DOI 10.1093/bioinformatics/bth357
View details for Web of Science ID 000225361400017
View details for PubMedID 15226172