Transcriptome Deconvolution of Heterogeneous Tumor Samples with Immune Infiltration

Zeya Wang, Shaolong Cao, Jeffrey S. Morris, Jaeil Ahn, Rongjie Liu, Svitlana Tyekucheva, Fan Gao, Bo Li, Wei Lu, Ximing Tang, Ignacio I. Wistuba, Michaela Bowden, Lorelei Mucci, Massimo Loda, Giovanni Parmigiani, Chris C. Holmes, Wenyi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transcriptomic deconvolution in cancer and other heterogeneous tissues remains challenging. Available methods lack the ability to estimate both component-specific proportions and expression profiles for individual samples. We present DeMixT, a new tool to deconvolve high dimensional data from mixtures of more than two components. DeMixT implements an iterated conditional mode algorithm and a novel gene-set-based component merging approach to improve accuracy. In a series of experimental validation studies and application to TCGA data, DeMixT showed high accuracy. Improved deconvolution is an important step towards linking tumor transcriptomic data with clinical outcomes. An R package, scripts and data are available:

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jun 8 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • computational tool
  • head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • RNA-seq data
  • statistical models
  • tumor heterogeneity
  • tumor-stroma-immune interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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