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DREAM and Sage Bionetworks tap the wisdom of the crowd to impact breast cancer prognosis
Date:4/17/2013

es not only the winners article (the BCC Challenge prize) and a report from the BCC organizers on the Challenges conception, execution and insights -- STM also chose to highlight the BCC with an Editorial Summary and an iconic cover of Rosie the Riveter, intended to symbolize the power of women and their data to transform health.

Quipped Challenge participant Richard Savage (MRC Fellow in Biostatistics at the University of Warwick) on the prospect of winning the opportunity to publish in STM, This is huge and a genuinely new way to do some great science. I really think the organizers are onto something with this.

The winner turned out not to be a breast cancer doctor, or even a breast cancer researcher: the winning team (Attractor Metagenes) hails from Professor Dimitris Anastassious laboratory at Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science. Anastassiou, now a member of the Columbia Initiative in Systems Biology, funded this research from his own inventors research allocation of patent royalties related to his previous work on digital television, which is now used in all DVDs and TV broadcasting systems worldwide. Working with two of his Ph.D. students, they developed the winning model underpinned by so-called attractor metagenes, gene signatures that they had identified as behaving similarly in multiple cancer types. They refer to attractor metagenes as bioinformatic hallmarks of cancer: Remarks Professor Anastassiou, We had discovered these pan-cancer gene signatures previously, and so we hypothesized that they play important roles in cancer in general. The BCC allowed us to prove that they are indeed highly prognostic at least in breast cancer. Indeed, the winning models predictive accuracy for breast cancer survival outperformed the best 60 models of a pre-competition group of expert programmers and bested current clinical standards. He is now excited with the prospect of collaborating with medical researchers t
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Contact: Regina Warmoth
warmoth@sagebase.org
206-667-2102
Sage Bionetworks
Source:Eurekalert

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