1 Overview

The PDATK R package provides a set of classes and methods for estimating patient risk using gene level biomarkers from a variety of published risk quantification models. Functions are included for assessing and visualizing individual model performance as well as conducting meta-analyses to compare performance differences between models used on novel patient molecular data.

2 Installation

The PDATK package can be installed from Bioconductor using the BiocManager package.

if (!require('PDATK')) BiocManager::install('PDATK')

3 Classes

3.1 SurvivalExperiment

A SurvivalExperiment is a wrapper around a SummarizedExperiment object which requires two mandatory metadata columns in the colData slot. The days_survived column specifies the integer number of days a patient has survived since treatment. The is_deceased column indicates whether the patient passed away during the study measurement period. Patients with an is_deceased value of zero (FALSE) survived past the date of last measurement in the study. For users familiar with survival analysis, these two columns correspond to overall survival (OS) and OS status, respectively.

3.1.1 Constructor

Creating a SurvivalExperiment is the same as creating a SummarizedExperiment object with two additional parameters. The days_survived parameter takes the name of the colData column containing overall survival (OS); it defaults to ‘days_survived’ but can be changed if the survival information is in another column of colData. The is_deceased parameter is the same, except that it specifies the column containing OS status. If the names of the columns are different from the names of the parameters, the columns are renamed in colData to ensure compatibility with PDATK function.

# -- Create some dummy data

# an assay
assay1 <- matrix(rnorm(100), nrow=10, ncol=10,
    dimnames=list(paste0('gene_', seq_len(10)), paste0('sample_', seq_len(10))))

# column and row metadata
rowMData <- DataFrame(gene_name=rownames(assay1),
    id=seq_len(10), row.names=rownames(assay1))
colMData <- DataFrame(sample_name=colnames(assay1),, 10),
    os_status=sample(c(0L, 1L), 10, replace=TRUE),

# -- Use it to build a SurvivalExperiment
survExperiment <- SurvivalExperiment(assays=SimpleList(rna=assay1),
    rowData=rowMData, colData=colMData, metadata=list(a='Some metadata'),
    survival_time='overall_survival', event_occurred ='os_status')

A SurvivalExperiment can also be created from an existing

# -- Build A SummarizedExperiment
sumExperiment <- SummarizedExperiment(assays=SimpleList(rna=assay1),
    rowData=rowMData, colData=colMData, metadata=list(a='Some meta data'))

# -- Convert it to a SurvivalExperiment
# Use the sumExp parameter, which must be named
survExperiment <- SurvivalExperiment(sumExp=sumExperiment,
    survival_time='overall_survival', event_occurred='os_status')

3.1.2 Accessors

Since a SurvivalExperiment contains a SummarizedExperiment, all of the accessor methods are inherited. For more details please see the SummarizedExperiment vignette.

3.2 CohortList

A CohortList is SimpleList containing only SurvivalExperiment objects. It is intended to be a general purpose container for storing patient cohorts for either training or validating a SurvivalModel.

3.2.1 Constructor

Creating a CohortList is the same as creating a SimpleList, with the addition of the mDataType parameter. This parameter takes the molecular data type of each SurvivalExperiment in the cohort list. It is used for making comparisons between models using different molecular assays, for example to see if model perforance is concordant between RNA sequencing vs RNA microarray data. If mDataType is not specfied, the constructor will try to retrieve that information from the metadata slot each of the SurvivalExperiments passed to it. You cannot make a CohortList without specifying the molecular data types, either directly or indirectly.

cohortList <- CohortList(list(cohort1=survExperiment, cohort2=survExperiment),
    mDataTypes=c('rna_seq', 'rna_micro'))

3.3 SurivivalModel

A SurvivalModel object inherits from a SurvivalExperiment, with the addition of the models, validationStats and validationData slots. On initial creation, as SurvivalModel is simply a container for your training data and model parameters. However, using the trainModel method on a SurvivalModel object will train your model using the training data in the assays slot of the SurvivalModel and assign the trained model to the models slot.

Once trained, a model can be used to make risk predictions for new cohorts of data, assuming they have the same molecular features. The predictClasses method uses a trained SurvivalModel to make predictions for a SurvivalExperiment or CohortList, assigning the risk scores to the colData of each SurvivalExperiment and adding class predictions, if applicable, to the predictions item in the SurvivalExperiment metadata. The method returns the originial data with addeded metadata.

A SurvivalModel can then be validated using external data with the validateModel method. This will compute performance statistics for the model on a set of validation data, assigning those statistics to the validationStats slot as a data.table. The validation data will be attached to the model in the validationData slot, to make it clear that what data the validation statistics apply to.

Additional methods are included in this package to conduct model comparison meta-analyses. These will be discussed in the detail in the PCOSP vignette.

3.3.1 Constructor

The SurvivalModel constructor takes as its first argument a SurvivalExperiment or CohortList. In the case of a CohortList, each SurvivalExperiment is subset to include only common samples and genes before being converted to a SurvivalModel. The molecular data for the models are stored in the assays slot of the SurvivalModel. Additionally, model parmeters must be specified depending on the model subclass. For pure SurvivalModel objects, the only model parameter is randomSeed, which should be the value used in set.seed when a user trained a model.

survModel <- SurvivalModel(survExperiment, randomSeed=1987)

3.3.2 Accessors

In addition to the standard SurvivalExperiment accessors, a SurivalModel also uses models, validationStats and validationData to access slots with the same respective names. Example usage of these accessors can be found in the PCOSP vignette. For more information please see the documentation with ??<method_name>, e.g., ??models. This will return a list of documentation for that S4 method defined on different classes.

3.3.3 Sub-Classes

In order to implement model specific behaviours for training, prediciton and validation, a number of SurvivalModel sub-classes are included in this package. Each one represents a distinct risk prediction model and has model specific configuration. See the PCOSP vignette for an explanation of each.

4 References


  1. Sandhu V, Labori KJ, Borgida A, et al. Meta-Analysis of 1,200 Transcriptomic Profiles Identifies a Prognostic Model for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma. JCO Clin Cancer Inform. 2019;3:1-16. doi:10.1200/CCI.18.00102