Independent component analysis of microarray data in the study of endometrial cancer

Samir A. Saidi, Cathrine M. Holland, David P. Kreil, David J C MacKay, D. Stephen Charnock-Jones, Cristin G. Print, Stephen K. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gene microarray technology is highly effective in screening for differential gene expression and has hence become a popular tool in the molecular investigation of cancer. When applied to tumours, molecular characteristics may be correlated with clinical features such as response to chemotherapy. Exploitation of the huge amount of data generated by microarrays is difficult, however, and constitutes a major challenge in the advancement of this methodology. Independent component analysis (ICA), a modern statistical method, allows us to better understand data in such complex and noisy measurement environments. The technique has the potential to significantly increase the quality of the resulting data and improve the biological validity of subsequent analysis. We performed microarray experiments on 31 postmenopausal endometrial biopsies, comprising 11 benign and 20 malignant samples. We compared ICA to the established methods of principal component analysis (PCA), Cyber-T, and SAM. We show that ICA generated patterns that clearly characterized the malignant samples studied, in contrast to PCA. Moreover, ICA improved the biological validity of the genes identified as differentially expressed in endometrial carcinoma, compared to those found by Cyber-T and SAM. In particular, several genes involved in lipid metabolism that are differentially expressed in endometrial carcinoma were only found using this method. This report highlights the potential of ICA in the analysis of microarray data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6677-6683
Number of pages6
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2004


  • Endometrial cancer
  • Gene microarrays
  • Independent component analysis
  • Lipid metabolism principal components analysis


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