Cox-sMBPLS: An Algorithm for Disease Survival Prediction and Multi-Omics Module Discovery Incorporating Cis-Regulatory Quantitative Effects

Nasim Vahabi, Caitrin W. McDonough, Ankit A. Desai, Larisa H. Cavallari, Julio D. Duarte, George Michailidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The development of high-throughput techniques has enabled profiling a large number of biomolecules across a number of molecular compartments. The challenge then becomes to integrate such multimodal Omics data to gain insights into biological processes and disease onset and progression mechanisms. Further, given the high dimensionality of such data, incorporating prior biological information on interactions between molecular compartments when developing statistical models for data integration is beneficial, especially in settings involving a small number of samples. Results: We develop a supervised model for time to event data (e.g., death, biochemical recurrence) that simultaneously accounts for redundant information within Omics profiles and leverages prior biological associations between them through a multi-block PLS framework. The interactions between data from different molecular compartments (e.g., epigenome, transcriptome, methylome, etc.) were captured by using cis-regulatory quantitative effects in the proposed model. The model, coined Cox-sMBPLS, exhibits superior prediction performance and improved feature selection based on both simulation studies and analysis of data from heart failure patients. Conclusion: The proposed supervised Cox-sMBPLS model can effectively incorporate prior biological information in the survival prediction system, leading to improved prediction performance and feature selection. It also enables the identification of multi-Omics modules of biomolecules that impact the patients’ survival probability and also provides insights into potential relevant risk factors that merit further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number701405
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
StatePublished - Aug 2 2021


  • cis-regulatory quantitative
  • multi-block PLS
  • multi-omics
  • supervised Integration
  • survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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