Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 144, Issue 8, pp 1435–1444 | Cite as

Machine learning identifies a core gene set predictive of acquired resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor

  • Young Rae Kim
  • Sung Young KimEmail author
Original Article – Cancer Research



Acquired resistance (AR) to epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) is a major issue worldwide, for both patients and healthcare providers. However, precise prediction is currently infeasible due to the lack of an appropriate model. This study was conducted to develop and validate an individualized prediction model for automated detection of acquired EGFR-TKI resistance.


Penalized regression was applied to construct a predictive model using publically available genomic cohorts of acquired EGFR-TKI resistance. To develop a model with enhanced generalizability, we merged multiple cohorts then updated the learning parameter via robust cross-study validation. Model performance was evaluated mainly using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve.


Using a multi-study-derived machine learning method, we developed an extremely parsimonious model with generalized predictors (DDK3, CPS1, MOB3B, KRT6A), which has excellent prediction performance on blind cohorts for AR to EGFR-TKIs (gefitinib, erlotinib and afatinib) and monoclonal antibody against EGFR (cetuximab). In addition, our model also showed high performance for predicting intrinsic resistance (IR) to EGFR-TKIs from two large-scale pharmacogenomic resources, the Cancer Genome Project and the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, suggesting that these general predictive features may work across AR and IR.


We successfully constructed a multi-study-derived prediction model for acquired EGFR-TKI resistance with excellent accuracy, generalizability and transferability.


Epidermal growth factor receptor Protein tyrosine kinases Drug resistance Transcriptomics Computer modeling 



This paper was supported by Konkuk University in 2015.

Author contributions

SYK and YRK conceived, designed the experiments and performed and analyzed the experiments. SYK performed the mathematical and statistical analyses. All authors wrote the paper. All authors analyzed the results and approved the final version of the article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

No human participants were used in this study.

Supplementary material

432_2018_2676_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1494 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryKonkuk University School of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea

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