Clinical intelligence: New machine learning techniques for predicting clinical drug response

Turki Turki, Jason T.L. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Predicting the response, or sensitivity, of a clinical drug to a specific cancer type is an important research problem. By predicting the clinical drug response correctly, clinicians are able to understand patient-to-patient differences in drug sensitivity outcomes, which in turn results in lesser time spent and lower cost associated with identifying effective drug candidates. Although technological advances in high-throughput drug screening in cells led to the generation of a substantial amount of relevant data, the analysis of such data would be a challenging task. There is a critical need for advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms to generate accurate predictions of clinical drug response. A major goal of this work is to provide advanced ML tools to data analysts, who would in turn build prediction calculators to be incorporated into intelligent clinical decision support systems. Such innovative tools could be used to enhance patient-care, among other uses. To achieve this goal, we develop new ML techniques, including a transfer learning approach coupled with or without a boosting technique. Experimental results on real clinical data pertaining to breast cancer, multiple myeloma, and triple-negative cancer patients demonstrate the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed approaches compared to baseline approaches, including existing transfer learning methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-322
Number of pages21
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Applications in biology and medicine
  • Drug discovery
  • Drug sensitivity
  • Machine learning
  • Transfer learning


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