A major challenge for distinguishing cancer-causing driver mutations from inconsequential passenger mutations is the long-tail of infrequently mutated genes in cancer genomes. Here, we present and evaluate a method for prioritizing cancer genes accounting not only for mutations in individual genes but also in their neighbors in functional networks, MUFFINN (MUtations For Functional Impact on Network Neighbors). This pathway-centric method shows high sensitivity compared with gene-centric analyses of mutation data. Notably, only a marginal decrease in performance is observed when using 10 % of TCGA patient samples, suggesting the method may potentiate cancer genome projects with small patient populations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Cell Biology