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Journal Articles Briefings in Bioinformatics Year : 2015

Performance evaluation of DNA copy number segmentation methods


A number of bioinformatic or biostatistical methods are available for analyzing DNA copy number profiles measured from microarray or sequencing technologies. In the absence of rich enough gold standard data sets, the performance of these methods is generally assessed using unrealistic simulation studies, or based on small real data analyses. We have designed and implemented a framework to generate realistic DNA copy number profiles of cancer samples with known truth. These profiles are generated by resampling real SNP microarray data from genomic regions with known copy-number state. The original real data have been extracted from dilutions series of tumor cell lines with matched blood samples at several concentrations. Therefore, the signal-to-noise ratio of the generated profiles can be controlled through the (known) percentage of tumor cells in the sample. In this paper, we describe this framework and illustrate some of the benefits of the proposed data generation approach on a practical use case: a comparison study between methods for segmenting DNA copy number profiles from SNP microarrays. This study indicates that no single method is uniformly better than all others. It also helps identifying pros and cons for the compared methods as a function of biologically informative parameters, such as the fraction of tumor cells in the sample and the proportion of heterozygous markers. Availability: R package jointSeg:
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Dates and versions

hal-00952896 , version 1 (27-02-2014)
hal-00952896 , version 2 (05-11-2015)


Attribution - NonCommercial - CC BY 4.0



Morgane Pierre-Jean, Guillem Rigaill, Pierre Neuvial. Performance evaluation of DNA copy number segmentation methods. Briefings in Bioinformatics, 2015, 16 (4), pp.600-615. ⟨10.1093/bib/bbu026⟩. ⟨hal-00952896v2⟩
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