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In Journal of bioinformatics and computational biology

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) level in the serum is one of the most widely used markers in monitoring prostate cancer (PCa) progression, treatment response, and disease relapse. Although significant efforts have been taken to analyze various socioeconomic and cultural factors that contribute to the racial disparities in PCa, limited research has been performed to quantitatively understand how and to what extent molecular alterations may impact differential PSA levels present at varied tumor status between African-American and European-American men. Moreover, missing values among patients add another layer of difficulty in precisely inferring their outcomes. In light of these issues, we propose a data-driven, deep learning-based imputation and inference framework (DIIF). DIIF seamlessly encapsulates two modules: an imputation module driven by a regularized deep autoencoder for imputing critical missing information and an inference module in which two deep variational autoencoders are coupled with a graphical inference model to quantify the personalized and race-specific causal effects. Large-scale empirical studies on the independent sub-cohorts of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) PCa patients demonstrate the effectiveness of DIIF. We further found that somatic mutations in TP53, ATM, PTEN, FOXA1, and PIK3CA are statistically significant genomic factors that may explain the racial disparities in different PCa features characterized by PSA.

Chen Zhong, Cao Bo, Edwards Andrea, Deng Hongwen, Zhang Kun


Deep learning, PSA, autoencoders, causal effect inference, genomic alterations, imputation, prostate cancer, racial disparity